Helen Sedgwick Talks About “The Comet Seekers”

Spin out of your orbit for our night with Helen Sedgwick, author of “The Comet Seekers” (Harvill Secker, UK, and Harper Collins, USA, 2016).  It will be interesting to discover how the biophysicist working on cancer research found her way to writing this first novel that was selected as one of the Best Books of 2016 by The Herald and Glamour magazine.

Reviewers ranging from the New York Times to Culturefly remark on her love of language, the implications of her intricate patterns and the unique structure of her writing.

“The novel is a beautiful balance of contrasts, of characters who work the earth and those who study the sky, of those driven to travel and those tied to home.” ~ The List

The story loops back through the very different lives of two people, glimpsing each of them only when a comet is visible in the skies above. We see how their paths cross as they come closer and closer to this moment. Theirs are stories filled with love and hope and heartbreak, that show how strangers can be connected and ghosts can be real, and the world can be as lonely or as beautiful as the comets themselves.

The author draws on her knowledge as a physicist, her fascination with humanity and her love of the night skies to explore the connections between people and the universe. Comets have been observed and recorded since ancient times, by many cultures. Roughly one comet per year is visible to the naked eye. Helen says, “I think humanity has a tendency to be afraid of what they can’t understand. There is something otherworldly about comets. Comets make me smile and think about what might be possible.”

[This] charming debut maps the world’s big questions on an even larger plane.” ~ Irish Times

 Helen has an MLitt in Creative Writing from Glasgow
University. She won a Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award in 2012 and her writing has been broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and widely published in magazines and anthologies. As a literary editor, Helen has worked as the managing director of Cargo Publishing and managing editor of Gutter, and she founded Wildland Literary Editors in 2012. Before that, Helen was a research physicist with a PhD in Physics, from Edinburgh University.

Join us on Tuesday, March 28, 7:30 p.m., at Edinbane Community Hall. Be aware that parking is scarce, but there is plenty of space along the road. Admission is free to members and £5 for non-members. Memberships are available, please ask. Refreshments will be served. Everyone is welcome.

Teaser: Our April 25 meeting will incorporate our (hopefully painless) AGM. Then the evening takes a special turn with our Special Guest speaker, our old friend, Roger Hutchinson, who will be talking about his new book, ‘The Butcher, the Baker, the Candlestick-Maker: The Story of Britain through its census, since 1801’.

For more information about meetings or the Reading Room, please email us at  skyereadingroom@yahoo.co.uk or message us on Facebook: Reading Room – Skye.