Louisiana native George Bishop’s second novel, The Night of the Comet (2013), takes place his home state. This coming-of-age tale is set in a small bayou town, and features the Broussard family: Alan Sr, Lydia, and their son, Alan Jr.
In 1973, Alan Jr. receives a telescope for his fourteenth birthday, a gift from his father the quirky science teacher, who is obsessed with the arrival of Comet Kohoutek. He is distant from his family, unhappy with his high school job, and trying to connect with his son, who is obsessed with Gabriella Martello, the girl next door.
Alan’s mom, Lydia, is also interested in the wealthy Martello family, especially Gabriella’s dad. She is dissatisfied with her life and her husband. This story unravels a family’s hopes, dreams, and disappointments as the comet approaches and they self-destruct. But there is magic in the night sky for those who seek it.
The New Orleans Review published this interview with the author, written by Erin Little.