Friday, November 21, 2014

Friday Freebie: Electric City by Elizabeth Rosner

Congratulations to Christine Neuman, winner of last week's Friday Freebie: a signed copy of Robin Black's debut novel, Life Drawing.

This week's book giveaway is Electric City by Elizabeth Rosner.  One lucky reader will win a hardcover edition of this new novel by the author of The Speed of Light, Gravity, and Blue Nude.  (And do you love that cover design as much as I do?)

Here's a little more about the book from the publisher: Upstate New York, at the confluence of the great Hudson River and its mighty tributary the Mohawk —from this stunning landscape came the creation of a new world of science.  In 1887, Thomas Edison moved his Edison Machine Works here and in 1892, it became the headquarters of a major manufacturing company, giving the town its nickname: Electric City.  The peak of Autumn, 1919: The pull of scientific discovery brings Charles Proteus Steimetz, a brilliant mathematician and recent arrival from Ellis Island, to town.  His ability to capture lightning in a bottle earns him the title “Wizard of Electric City.”  Barely four feet tall with a deeply curving spine, Steinmetz’s physical deformity belies his great intellect.  Allied with his Mohawk friend Joseph Longboat and his adopted eleven-year-old granddaughter Midget, the advancements he makes in Electric City will, quite simply, change the world.  The peak of Autumn, 1965: Sophie Levine, the daughter of a company man, one of the many scientists working at The Company, whose electric logo can be seen from everywhere in town.  Her family escaped Europe just before World War II, leaving behind a wake of annihilation and persecution.  Ensconced in Electric City, Sophie is coming of age just as the town is gasping its last breaths.  The town, and America as a whole, is on the cusp of great instability: blackouts, social unrest over Vietnam, and soon the advent of the seventies.  Into her orbit drifts Henry Van Curler, the favored son of one of Electric City’s founding Dutch families, as well as Martin Longboat, grandson of Joseph Longboat.  This new generation of Electric City will face both the history of their town and their own uncertain future, struggling to bridge the gap between the old world and the new.  Electric City is a vital, pulsing, epic novel of America, of its great scientific ingenuity and its emotional ambition; one that frames the birth and evolution of its towns against the struggles of its indigenous tribes, the immigrant experience, a country divided, and the technological advancements that ushered in the modern world.

Here's some nice blurbworthiness from Caroline Leavitt (author of Pictures of You): "A heady mix of world-changing history (Thomas Edison and Charles Steinmetz) coupled against a bewitching love triangle ignites Rosner's gorgeously written exploration of the way inventions transform cities, hearts, and lives, sometimes with a terrible cost, and the way light nudges inroads in the darkness.  Electrifyingly original."

If you’d like a chance at winning Electric City, simply email your name and mailing address to

Put FRIDAY FREEBIE in the e-mail subject line.  One entry per person, please.  Despite its name, the Friday Freebie runs all week long and remains open to entries until midnight on Nov. 27, at which time I’ll draw the winning name.  I’ll announce the lucky reader on Nov. 28.  If you’d like to join the mailing list for the once-a-week newsletter, simply add the words “Sign me up for the newsletter” in the body of your email.  Your email address and other personal information will never be sold or given to a third party (except in those instances where the publisher requires a mailing address for sending Friday Freebie winners copies of the book).

Want to double your odds of winning?  Get an extra entry in the contest by posting a link to this webpage on your blog, your Facebook wall or by tweeting it on Twitter.  Once you’ve done any of those things, send me an additional e-mail saying “I’ve shared” and I’ll put your name in the hat twice.

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