BSB: Brad Fox (The Bathysphere Book) Author Talk

Bank Square Books presents an author talk and signing with Brad Fox for the book The Bathysphere Book: Effects of the Luminous Ocean Depths.


Book CoverAbout the Book

A wide ranging, philosophical, and sensual account of early deep sea exploration and its afterlives, The Bathysphere Book begins with the first ever voyage to the deep ocean in 1930 and expands to explore the adventures and entanglements of its all-too-human participants at a time when the world still felt entirely new.

In the summer of 1930, aboard a ship floating near the Atlantic island of Nonsuch, marine biologist Gloria Hollister sat on a crate, writing furiously in a notebook with a telephone receiver pressed to her ear. The phone line was attached to a steel cable that plunged 3,000 feet into the sea. There, suspended by the cable, dangled a four-and-a-half-foot steel ball called the bathysphere. Crumpled inside, gazing through three-inch quartz windows at the undersea world, was Hollister's colleague William Beebe. He called up to her, describing previously unseen creatures, explosions of bioluminescence, and strange effects of light and color. 

From this momentous first encounter with the unknown depths, The Bathysphere Book widens its scope to explore a transforming and deeply paradoxical America, as the first great skyscrapers rose above New York City and the Great Plains baked to dust. In prose that is magical, atmospheric, and entirely engrossing, Brad Fox dramatizes new visions of our planetary home, delighting in tales of the colorful characters who surrounded, supported, and participated in the dives--from groundbreaking scientists and gallivanting adventurers to eugenicist billionaires. 

The Bathysphere Book is a hypnotic assemblage of brief chapters along with over fifty full-color images, records from the original bathysphere logbooks, and the moving story of surreptitious romance between Beebe and Hollister that anchors their exploration. Brad Fox blurs the line between poetry and research, unearthing and rendering a visionary meeting with the unknown.

About the Author

Brad Fox is a writer living in New York. His novel, To Remain Nameless, was published by Rescue Press in 2020. His stories, articles, and translations have appeared in The New Yorker, Guernica, Public Domain Review, and the Whitney Biennial. He has worked as a researcher and story consultant for novelists and filmmakers and he had an earlier career as a journalist and relief worker in the Balkans, Mexico, the Arab world, and Turkey.

Anelise Chen is the Director of Undergraduate Studies at Columbia University, where she teaches fiction. Her next book will be a hybrid memoir of the self-as-mollusk, based on her column as the Paris Review Daily's "mollusk correspondent." Her recent essay about Rachel Carson's Sea Trilogy was published in The Atlantic. She lives in New Haven, CT.

The Bathysphere Book: Effects of the Luminous Ocean Depths By Brad Fox Cover Image
$29.00
ISBN: 9781662601903
Availability: Ships to Our Store in 2-8 Days
Published: Astra House - May 16th, 2023

Winner of the 2024 National Book Foundation's Science + Literature Award

A Washington Post top 10 best book of 2023

A Publishers Weekly best nonfiction book of 2023

"Hypnotic . . . Beautifully written and beautifully made."
W. M. Akers, The New York Times Book Review

"one of the most beautiful books-as-objects of the year"


Thursday, May 25, 2023 - 6:00pm
Bank Square Books
53 West Main Street
Mystic, CT 06355