The Sparrow

A Novel

Publisher: Ballantine Books
A visionary work that combines speculative fiction with deep philosophical inquiry, The Sparrow tells the story of a charismatic Jesuit priest and linguist, Emilio Sandoz, who leads a scientific mission entrusted with a profound task: to make first contact with intelligent extraterrestrial life. The mission begins in faith, hope, and beauty, but a series of small misunderstandings brings it to a catastrophic end.
 
Praise for The Sparrow
 
“A startling, engrossing, and moral work of fiction.”The New York Times Book Review
 
“Important novels leave deep cracks in our beliefs, our prejudices, and our blinders. The Sparrow is one of them.”Entertainment Weekly
 
“Powerful . . . The Sparrow tackles a difficult subject with grace and intelligence.”San Francisco Chronicle
 
“Provocative, challenging . . . recalls both Arthur C. Clarke and H. G. Wells, with a dash of Ray Bradbury for good measure.”The Dallas Morning News
 
“[Mary Doria] Russell shows herself to be a skillful storyteller who subtly and expertly builds suspense.”USA Today

READ AN EXCERPT

Ballantine Reader's Circle: The Sparrow (Excerpt)

Chapter 1


ROME: DECEMBER 2059

On December 7, 2059, Emilio Sandoz was released from the isolation ward of Salvator Mundi Hospital in the middle of the night and transported in a bread van to the Jesuit Residence at Number 5 Borgo Santo Sp...
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READING GUIDE

A Conversation with  Mary Doria Russell 

Random House Reader’s Circle: Until The Sparrow you had only written serious scientific articles and technical manuals. How did you end up writing a speculative novel?

Mary Doria Russell: The idea came to me in the summer of 1992 as we were...
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PRAISE FOR

“A startling, engrossing, and moral work of fiction.”The New York Times Book Review
 
“Important novels leave deep cracks in our beliefs, our prejudices, and our blinders. The Sparrow is one of them.”Entertainment Weekly
 
“Powerful . . . The Sparrow tackles a difficult subject with grace and intelligence.”San Francisco Chronicle
 
“Provocative, challenging . . . recalls both Arthur C. Clarke and H. G. Wells, with a dash of Ray Bradbury for good measure.”The Dallas Morning News
 
“[Mary Doria] Russell shows herself to be a skillful storyteller who subtly and expertly builds suspense.”USA Today