Bring it, brainiac

Novelist Richard Powers to the Crest Theatre.

You’ve heard of “Girlfriend in a Coma?” Well this is more like “Meatpacker in a coma. And then out of one. But with weird, frightening, existentially provocative symptoms.” After an almost fatal car accident, a guy who works in a slaughterhouse awakens and concludes that the hospital-room visitor claiming she’s his sister actually is an imposter. So begins The Echo Maker, the National Book Award-winning ninth book by Richard Powers, whom The Believer magazine rightly described as “the enigmatic and prodigious brainiac novelist.” As a describer, a stylist, a thinker, Powers has few peers. He is science-minded and poet-hearted, and accordingly writes copiously researched, unpretentiously profound books of power and intricacy and enormous intellect. And in The Echo Maker, Powers explores the labyrinth on that fragile frontier between emotional intelligence and cognitive intelligence—as great a concept for a novel as you can ask for. Hear him discuss it on Monday evening, when California Lectures brings the brainiac to the Crest. California Lectures presents author Richard Powers Monday, March 3, 7:30 p.m. at the Crest Theatre, 1013 K Street. Doors open at 6:15 p.m. for a lecture preview discussion with CSUS professor Jonathan Price at 6:30 p.m. Tickets cost $25 and may be acquired by calling (800) 225-2277, visiting or the Crest Theatre box office. Call (916) 737-1300 for more information.