Atmospheric Disturbances: A Novel
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
On Sale: May 27, 2008
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When Dr. Leo Liebensteinâ€™s wife disappears, she leaves
behind a single, confounding clue: a woman who looks,
talks, and behaves exactly like herâ€”or almost exactly like
herâ€”and even audaciously claims to be her. While everyone
else is fooled by this imposter, Leo knows better than to
trust his senses in matters of the heart. Certain that the
original Rema is alive and in hiding, Leo embarks on a
quixotic journey to reclaim his lost love.
With the help of his psychiatric patient Harveyâ€”who
believes himself to be a secret agent who can control the
weatherâ€”Leo attempts to unravel the mystery of the spousal
switch. His investigation leads him to the enigmatic
guidance of the meteorologist Dr. Tzvi Gal-Chen, the secret
workings of the Royal Academy of Meteorology in their
cosmic conflict with the 49 Quantum Fathers, and the
unwelcome conviction that somehow heâ€”or maybe his wife, or
maybe even Harveyâ€”lies at the center of all these
unfathomables. From the streets of New York to the
southernmost reaches of Patagonia, Leoâ€™s erratic quest
becomes a test of how far he is willing to take his
struggle against the seemingly uncontestable truth he knows
in his heart to be false.
Atmospheric Disturbances is at once a moving love story, a
dark comedy, a psychological thriller, and a deeply
disturbing portrait of a fracturing mind. With tremendous
compassion and dazzling literary sophistication, Rivka
Galchen investigates the moment of crisis when you suddenly
realize that the reality you insist upon is no longer one
you can accept, and the person you love has become merely
the person you live with. This highly inventive debut
explores the mysterious nature of human relationships, and
how we spend our lives trying to weather the storms of our
Bryant Park - June 24, 2008
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