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Ken Kalfus      

Author of the New Novel, "Equilateral," About the Centuries-Old Quest for Life on Other Planets

Ken Kalfus is the author of three novels, "Equilateral" (2013), "The Commissariat of Enlightenment" (2003) and "A Disorder Peculiar to the Country," which was a finalist for the 2006 National Book Award and has appeared in several foreign editions, including French and Italian translations. He has also published two collections of stories, "Thirst" (1998) and "Pu-239 and Other Russian Fantasies" (1999), a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award. Kalfus has received a Pew Fellowships in the Arts award and a fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. He's written for Harper's, The New York Review of Books, and The New York Times. A film adaptation of his short story, "Pu-239," aired on HBO in 2007.

Kalfus's travels and enthusiasms have inspired his work. Having lived in Moscow from 1994 to 1998, he's written two books set in Russia. With a deep interest in astronomy (he's named his daughter Sky), Kalfus has tracked the cutting-edge research in the hunt of extraterrestrial life, considering the scientific prospect for life outside our planet and the implications the discovery of alien intelligence may have for human history. For his latest novel, "Equilateral," Kalfus interviewed astronomers and other scientists, and he traveled to the Western Desert of Egypt, the place where the novel is set.

Kirkus Reviews called "Equilateral" "mesmerizing." NPR called it "a compact and deeply satisfying work of fiction." The New York Times says of Kalfus that "few American novelists get as many rewards from their investment in ideas."

Kalfus was born in New York in 1954, grew up in Plainview, Long Island, and has lived in Paris, Dublin, Belgrade and Moscow. He currently lives in Philadelphia.


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