Welcome to This Week in Books, where we highlight books just released by small and independent presses. Books have always been a symbol for and means of spreading knowledge and wisdom, and they are an important part of our toolkit in fighting for social justice. If we’re going to move our national narrative away from one of hate and fear, we need books that display empathy, that help us understand different points of view, that show us we aren’t alone, that feed our spirits.
This week’s pick is Generation Space: A Love Story (Stillhouse Press, April 4) by Anna Leahy and Douglas R. Dechow. Leahy is a poet and Dechow a scientist, but both grew up during the Space Age and it was their love for space that led them to meet and fall in love at the National Air and Space Museum.
Generation Space is co-written in the sense that it’s told in chapters that alternate between the two voices. Together Leahy and Dechow trace the history of human exploration in space. Author Tom Zoellner says of the book,
Anna Leahy and Douglas Dechow capture the unique mixture of nostalgia, hope, and derring-do that surrounds humanity’s successful attempt to puncture the veil of space. Generation Space is a book that will resonate with the children of that Apollo era and one that asks the urgent question that few seem willing to answer in the 21st century: where do we go from here?
In addition to telling their own love story and their shared love affair with the stars, Leahy and Dechow explore what it means to belong to “Generation Space.” They define this generation as beginning in 1957 with the launch of Sputnik and ending in 1981 with the launch of the first space shuttle. They’ve even set up a place on the book’s website where readers can submit their own space-related memories, stories, hopes, and dreams and they’ve launched the #IAmGenSpace hashtag.
Logo art by Max Winter.