Interesting Facts About Space

Atria. Jan. 2024. 320p. ISBN 9781668014233. $27.99. F
Following her best seller Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead, Austin’s latest novel introduces Enid, a hard-of-hearing lesbian who communicates her feelings largely via texts about space to her mother, self-soothes with a true-crime podcast addiction, and nurtures a phobia of bald men that threatens to upend her daily existence. Enid works at a space agency, though she’s quick to point out that she’s neither an astronaut nor an engineer but an information architect. She’s painfully trying to forge relationships with her half-sisters after the death of their father, who was part of their lives but not hers. Her life is compartmentalized until it isn’t, and Enid must face the discomfort she’s been suppressing for years. Written with an even balance of care, humor, and insight, Enid is a multifaceted protagonist readers can relate to, feel for, and empathize with as she first maintains her mother’s well-being, then realizes she must tend to her own.
VERDICT This is a sweet love letter to the awkward, the unseen, the cyberbullied, and everyone struggling to understand their place in the world. Austin is certainly finding hers, and fans will flock.
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