Everything There Is

M.G. Vassanji

Doubleday

Everything There Is

M.G. Vassanji

Doubleday

From two-time Giller Prize winner M.G. Vassanji, one of Canada’s finest and most celebrated writers, comes a brilliant new novel that vividly examines the seemingly incongruous worlds of science, religion and desire.

Nurul Islam is a world-renowned physicist, professor at Imperial College, London, and one half of the Islam-Rosenfeld theory, the first step in a grand unification of forces and a Theory of Everything. A family man profoundly influenced by his pious father, Nurul is happily married to Sakina Begum by an arranged marriage. They have three children. But when Nurul travels to Cambridge, Massachusetts, to give a public lecture at Harvard, he falls in love with a graduate student, Hilary Chase.

At the same time, Nurul Islam’s outspoken, philosophical views about the nature of physics and God have earned him the ire of fundamentalist preachers in Pakistan. He makes enemies of the political and military establishments when he refuses to contribute to Pakistan’s nuclear weapons project. Meanwhile, a contingent of physicists begins a smear campaign, claiming that Nurul Islams’s contribution to the unification theory was plagiarized. All these events converge upon Sakina Begum who, smarting from her husband’s betrayal, unwittingly commits a betrayal of her own. Everything that has worked together as though preordained since his child – hood to take him to the pinnacle of scientific achievement suddenly falls apart.

An exceptionally wise and intimate account of love, honour, guilt and genius, Everything There Is gives us an engaging portrait of a traditional, spiritual man facing the onslaught of inescapable forces.

photo of M.G. Vassanji
M.G. Vassanji won the Giller Prize for The Book of Secrets and The In-Between World of Vikram Lall, and the Governor General's Literary Award for Non-Fiction for A Place Within: Rediscovering India.

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