Special Topics in Calamity Physics

special topics

After a chaotic life of following her professor father to a new university posting each year, Blue van Meer enrolls for her senior year at the elite St. Gallway School.  There, she meets an eccentric teacher and a clique of precocious students with whom she forms strange, tenuous friendships.  When two deaths rock the St. Gallway community, Blue begins questioning all she holds sacred. 

Special Topics in Calamity Physics is both a coming-of-age story and a murder mystery, with as many literary references thrown in as possible.

"Dad always said a person must have a magnificent reason for writing out his or her Life Story and expecting anyone to read it.  Unless your name is something along the lines of Mozart, Matisse, Churchill, Che Guevara or Bond James Bond you best spent your free time finger painting or playing shuffeboard, for no one, with the exception of your flabby-armed mother with stiff hair and a mashed potato way of looking at you, will want to hear the particulars of your pitiable existence, which doubtlessly will end as it began with a wheeze."

Marisha Pessl is the author of Night Film and Special Topics in Calamity Physics.  Born in Asheville, North Carolina, she now lives in New York City.

Published:  2006
Length:  514 pages
Set in:  North Carolina, United States