“HEAT AND LIGHT is a riveting panoramic tale, keying in on the lives impacted by Big Energy’s ceaseless feeding frenzy. In the spirit of Don DeLillo’s Underworld and the novels of Dana Spiotta and Rachel Kushner, Jennifer Haigh’s writing gives full measure to the intimate lives within: Houston power brokers, desperate landowners willing to lease the earth under their feet, and mercenary contractors with gargantuan machinery ready to get at the prehistoric shale deposits below. HEAT AND LIGHT is a greyhound of a novel—smart, sharp, hyperprecise, and near incantatory in its momentum.”


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“HEAT AND LIGHT is a stunning book, a grand book, a book of old-fashioned power and scale. Within its pitiless and wide-open sights it takes aim at power and greed, plunder and the profit motive, the rapacity inherent in the American Dream and the complicity of its victims. It works on a wide canvas and contains, before the final curtain closes, all the pleasures of the 19th-century social novel, but with a conspicuous lack of easy moralizing. Just as all politics is local, so Haigh knows that all good fiction is personal, with the texture of the specific, and she writes prose with the spine in mind. This is an unsparing book, and one that sings.”

author of Then We Came to the End

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“Paragraph by paragraph, the prose is full of marvelous texture and material sensation. HEAT AND LIGHT is an intricate and ambitious novel, firmly grounded in history and our time. The narrator’s encyclopedic knowledge and keen insights about the physical world and social life make the novel a thrilling page turner.”

National Book Award–winning
author of Waiting

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“HEAT AND LIGHT is a work of tremendous sweep and ambition, a timely, inventive novel powered by Jennifer Haigh’s remarkable compassion for her characters.”

author of Beautiful Ruins

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