Bewilderment by Richard Powers

Richard Powers is probably much smarter than you, even if you have also won a MacArthur, a National Book Award, a Pulitzer. He also feels as much as he thinks, at least on the page. He maps the brain and the human heart over and over again. “Do I dare / Disturb the universe?” asked T. S. Eliot’s Prufrock. For 13 novels, disturbing the universe has been Powers’s thing.

Galatea 2.2 takes a Pygmalion story into the age of the personal computer. Generosity: An Enhancement charts the neurochemical elements of a love affair and ponders the genetic secret to happiness. The Time of Our Singing is a sweeping story of a bi-racial family, the music they make, and the fallout of their experiment when it collides with the racial ferment of the 60s. Powers, it seems, knows about everything.