Orfeo: A Novel
By Richard Powers
(W. W. Norton & Co., $27)

In National Book Award-winner Richard Powers’ new novel, composer Peter Els is unexpectedly swept into a high-profile and dangerous world when authorities find his homemade microbiology lab. The retired college professor is soon on the lam, revisiting his past in person and in memory as he rediscovers all the ways that music inspires the human spirit for better or for worse. Powers is never one to shy away from exploring the intersect between science and art, and in Orfeo he pulls apart the threads of our current security state to reveal a world in which we are all guilty until proven otherwise.