Form of Taking It All, A
Just as the discovery of America in the fifteenth century forever altered the way Europeans viewed the world, so too did the theories of relativity and quantum physics radically alter the twentieth-century vision of the universe. Both encounters with otherness, on both a global and personal level, form the crux of Rosmarie Waldrop’s extraordinary novel. The story roams the political worlds of old Mexico and Washington, D.C., and goes on to fuse the two great perceptual revolutions of the fifteenth and twentieth centuries—so that it is Columbus, in her fiction, who discovers the unpredicted particles of the new quantum physics. Waldrop’s brilliant narrative shifts from stream of consciousness to first-person narration to poetry, in a unique meditation on love and politics, conquest and tolerance, and the effects of change.