National Bestseller

National Book Critics Circle Award Nominee

From the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Overstory and the forthcoming Bewilderment, a magnificent double love story of two young couples separated by a distance of twenty-five years.

“The most lavishly ambitious American novel since Gravity’s Rainbow . . . An outright marvel.” —Washington Post

Stuart Ressler, a brilliant young molecular biologist, sets out in 1957 to crack the genetic code. His efforts are sidetracked by other, more intractable codes—social, moral, musical, spiritual—and he falls in love with a member of his research team.

Years later, another young man and woman team up to investigate a different scientific mystery: Why did the eminently promising Ressler suddenly disappear from the world of science? Strand by strand, these two love stories twist about each other in a double helix of desire.

The critically acclaimed third novel from Pulitzer Prize–winning author Richard Powers, The Gold Bug Variations is an intellectual tour-de-force that probes the meaning of love, science, music, and art.

About the author(s)

Richard Powers is the author of thirteen novels. His most recent, The Overstory, won the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction. He is also the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship and the National Book Award, and he has been a four-time National Book Critics Circle Award finalist. He lives in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains.


“A dense, symmetrical symphony in which no note goes unsounded.”  — New York Times Book Review

“Magnificent...Powers’s characters are fascinating, brilliant, eccentric people...but beyond that is the ability to induce the reader to see the world differently, revealed in a new light.”  — San Francisco Chronicle

The Gold Bug Variations is the most important and intellectually challenging American novel published this year.”  — Philadelphia Inquirer

“Eloquent and fascinating... The Gold Bug Variations is a rambling, playful, lush, vain, bold and mighty worthwhile lap breaker.” — Chicago Tribune

“Deeply enriching...challenging and original.”  — Publishers Weekly

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