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The national spotlight has fallen on Minnesota author, Scott Dominic Carpenter, whose novel, Theory of Remainders has just been named to Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2013.
Applauding the work for its “fully realized characters” and “remarkable fluency of language,” the national trade reviewer asserts that Carpenter’s “extensive comprehension of French culture and history make this literary novel a stellar achievement.” The book is one of a small number to receive the distinction.
Set in France, Theory of Remainders follows an American psychiatrist who seeks to unravel the story of his daughter’s disappearance more than a decade ago. Carpenter, who teaches French at Carleton College and has spent several years in France, asserts that there is also a local connection to the story. “I moved back to Minnesota at the time of Jacob Wetterling’s disappearance,” he says, referring to the 1989 disappearance of the St. Joseph boy. “My time here has been marked by that inexhaustible saga, which has for years oscillated between hope and despair.” Although the story he tells in Theory of Remainders is not based on any actual case, Carpenter sought to portray the effect of unresolved trauma.
Apparently he has succeeded. Called “riveting” by Library Journal and named a Midwest Connections “Pick” by the Midwest Independent Bookseller’s Association, Theory of Remainders makes for a compelling read. As John Lehman, of Rosebud Reviews wrote, “Nothing I have read in the last three or four years even comes close.”
Carpenter is donating a portion of proceeds from book sales to the Jacob Wetterling Resource Center.