Literature: Cokinos’s The Fallen Sky

“…the fallen sky can reveal secrets not only of the solar system but of our hearts. That is why this is an intimate history of shooting stars. We go out hunting meteorites, and some of us find ourselves as well.” -Christopher Cokinos, in The Fallen Sky

Cokinos The Fallen SkyTitle: The Fallen Sky // Author: Christopher Cokinos // Publisher: Tarcher/Penguin // Pub. Date: July 2009 // 528 p.

Christopher Cokinos’s The Fallen Sky: An Intimate History of Shooting Stars is one of the more intelligent-adventurous-thoroughly researched-and-literary books I’ve read lately. And in the past two months since this book’s publication, it has been getting a lot of (deservedly) good press. The Fallen Sky is more than a book about meteorites. It’s about the passions and desires of those who hunt them, this book’s author included. Cokinos weaves personal and cultural history into his more scientific subject matter, and the result is a book that’s a pleasure to read on many different levels.

I met Cokinos while he was researching in Antarctica for this book. He got to spend his time down there out on an ice shelf, buzzing around on a snowmobile–canvassing for meteorites in the great flat white. In this part of the world where fun is relative, I was probably in McMurdo the entire time shoveling snowdrifts and wishing I were out on an ice shelf searching for meteorites.

To read my NewWest interview with Christopher Cokinos, click here.

Photo credit: Tarcher/Penguin.

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