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Author: Adam Ehrlich Sachs


“[An] intellect with the timing of a borscht belt comedian” (Publishers
Weekly), acclaimed author Adam Ehrlich Sachs brings his unique comic and
philosophical sensibilities to his first novel, The Organs of Sense, an
intricate nested fable equating our inability to truly understand the world
with our inability to understand our own messy families. In 1666, an
astronomer makes a prediction shared by no one else in the world: At the
stroke of noon on June 30 of that year, a solar eclipse will cast all of
Europe into total darkness for four seconds. This astronomer is rumored to
be using the largest telescope ever built, but he is also known to be
blind—both his eyes have been plucked out under mysterious circumstances.
Is he mad? Or does he, despite this impairment, have an insight denied the
other scholars of his day? These questions intrigue the young Gottfried
Wilhelm Leibniz—not yet the world-renowned polymath who would go on to
discover calculus, but a nineteen-year-old whose faith in reason is shaky
at best. Leibniz sets off to investigate the astronomer’s claim, and in the
three hours before the eclipse occurs—or fails to occur—the astronomer
tells the scholar the story behind his strange prediction: a tale that ends
up encompassing kings and princes, family squabbles, insanity, art, loss,
and the horrors of war.

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