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Rachel Barenbaum: Atomic Anna

(Fiction, 448 pp. 2022)

Returning again and again to right a catastrophic wrong, Atomic Anna imagines the length to which Chernobyl’s principal architect-physicist would go to undo the meltdown, and the concomitant destruction of her self-worth. When the impact of forces unleashed by the nuclear explosion mysteriously transports Anna to a remote Armenian mountaintop, she discovers her Soviet apparatchik ex-husband had surreptitiously enabled the completion of her engineering side-gig, an immense, clandestine time machine. Repeated time travel messes with reality, but becomes increasingly urgent as Anna agonizes to disentangle tightly held family secrets across decades to save her loved ones. Discovering her own humanity is key.

Reader’s guide and discussion questions by Hadassah Magazine, June 2022

Review by Jen Doll, The New York Times, April 5, 2022

Review by Eve Attermann, Publishers Weekly, April 2022

Review by Mark Birnheim, BookPage, April 5, 2022

Review by Sara Shukla, Los Angeles Times, April 5, 2022

Review by Kristen, Always With A Book, November 24, 2022

Review by Jamie Wendt, The Jewish Book Council, April 4, 2022

Author interview by Elizabeth Chiles Shelbourne, Dead Darlings, April 7, 2022

Author interview podcast by Daniel Ford and Kelly J. Ford, Writer’s Bone, April 12, 2022

Author interview podcasts hosted by Owl Tail

Author website