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Thomas Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow at 50″: A Literary Journey Unveiled

Published on Nov 26, 2023

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of Thomas Pynchon’s iconic novel, “Gravity’s Rainbow,” an insightful event titled “Rocket Science: Thomas Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow at 50” is set to captivate literary enthusiasts at The Huntington’s Rothenberg Hall on Wednesday, November 29, from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. Hosted by The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens, this free event, requiring reservations, promises a thought-provoking exploration.

The evening will showcase a stimulating conversation led by Karla Nielsen, the curator of literary collections at The Huntington, who will moderate discussions between professors Sean Carswell from California State University, Channel Islands, and M.G. Lord from the University of Southern California. Carswell, known for “Occupy Pynchon: Politics after Gravity’s Rainbow,” and Lord, author of “Forever Barbie: The Unauthorized Biography of a Real Doll” and “Astro Turf: The Private Life of Rocket Science,” bring their expertise to dissect the novel’s intricacies.

The event coincides with The Huntington’s recent acquisition of Thomas Pynchon’s archive, housing valuable drafts, handwritten notes, and correspondence, adding depth to the understanding of the celebrated author’s legacy. “Gravity’s Rainbow,” known for its profound exploration of postwar America, delves into the genesis of rocket states and their socio-political impacts.

This literary milestone will provide a deep dive into the historical and literary significance of “Gravity’s Rainbow,” examining its portrayal of rocket science, ballistics, and the broader thematic tapestry that weaves through the novel. Known for its encyclopedic scope, the novel traverses multifaceted subjects from rocketry to psychedelic chemistry, showcasing Pynchon’s prowess as a masterful storyteller.

As a complementary event, a live reading titled “Thomas Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow 50th Anniversary Live Reading” is slated for Saturday, December 9, 2023, at 1:00 PM. These events aim to provide attendees with a comprehensive exploration of the novel’s themes, historical context, and enduring literary impact.

For more information and reservations, contact 626-405-2100 or visit

Rocket Science: Thomas Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow at 50 will be held at The Huntington’s Rothenberg Hall located at 1151 Oxford Road. San Marino.

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