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As In Chess, As In Life

image courtesy of the author

Jennifer DuBois's new novel asks the central question, How do you keep going when you know things are going to end badly? The book is A Partial History of Lost Causes (Random House, 2012).  

  Its protagonist, Irina, expects to die young from Huntington's Disease, the same malady that claimed her father's life at a young age.  After finding a letter her father once wrote looking for answers from a Russian chess prodigy, Irina goes in search of the chess player, who has become a maverick presidential candidate waging his own lost cause.  They meet in Russia, and it turns out the two are seeking answers to some similar quandaries.

DuBois is a graduate of the Iowa Writer's Workshop, and currently teaches writing at Stanford University.  She spoke with Mitch Teich.

Jennifer DuBois reads an excerpt of her novel.

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