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Up for the Challenger

Author Stephen Harrigan is ambitious -- even by Texas's "bigger is better" standards. The native (ahem) Oklahoman's third novel, The Gates of the Alamo, fictionalized Texas's most legendary battle, to great critical acclaim. He's now touring in support of his fourth novel, Challenger Park, which takes a whack at another Texas legend: NASA.

The book follows astronaut Lucy Kincheloe, who has always shot for the moon. But when she finally reaches the stars, she feels pulled toward home by her children, husband and a surprising budding affair. Marooned at the space station miles above the earth, Lucy ponders her rather ordinary roles as mother and lover.

The story, by turns technical and sweet, is -- like its author -- ambitious to the core. Harrigan reads from and signs Challenger Park today.
Tue., April 11, 7 p.m.


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