Barbara Kingsolver on Richard Powers

"At the prospect of a science-y genius taking the podium, a lot of the audience expects to be frozen out, or bored."

- Barbara Kingsolver

Writing in the New York Times, Kingsolver - a novelist beloved to for the sympathetic portrayals of science and scientists in some of her work - wondered why the equally science-friendly fellow writer Richard Powers wasn't a household name despite his many accolades. She doesn't necessarily agree with the prevailing theory, namely that his outlook and characters lack warmth. Instead, she chalks it up to our old friend, the knee-jerk response that the prospect of science in literature seems to evoke in some people. We suspect she's probably right, and hope that the short-listing of his latest novel The Overstory for the Man Booker Prize will go some ways towards breaking the ice.