A Quantum Life: My Unlikely Journey from the Street to the Stars

Ballantine. Jun. 2021. 368p. ISBN 9781984819093. $28. MEMOIR
Astrophysicist and cosmologist Oluseyi collaborates with writer Horwitz to tell his gripping story of overcoming obstacles and finding purpose. Born in Louisiana, Oluseyi moved with his mother every few years, from Louisiana to California to Texas, ultimately settling in rural Mississippi. His writing reads like a novel and grabs readers’ attention as he recalls the uncertainty of daily life, trying on different personalities in order to determine how he fit into the world, from child scientist to church leader to drug dealer. He movingly details his battle with drug addiction, his complex and sometimes chaotic family life, his years at Tougaloo College, and his doctoral studies at Stanford. Oluseyi doesn’t shy away from recalling difficult moments of his life, from personal struggles while serving in the U.S. navy, to debating whether to drop out of school and get married, to preparing to become a father. No matter what period of his life he’s recalling, Oluseyi’s writing shines through each page.
VERDICT Oluseyi’s skills as public speaker and motivator are on full display as he recalls his long road to personal and professional success. A great read for memoir fans, who will be drawn in from the first page.
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