Beginning the World Again

In this brilliantly conceived, compelling portrait of an extraordinary time and place, Silman interweaves the lives of her characters with those of historical figures - Robert Oppenheimer, Leslie Groves, Enrico Fermi, Richard Feynman, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, even Roosevelt and Churchill. She unveils the stark reality of The Hill, a place where everyone knew what "the gadget" was but no one could talk about it; a place where decent, thoughtful men and women wrestled with the seductive lure of scientific discovery and with the troubling dilemmas of war. In this, her most ambitious work, Roberta Silman has created a universal, haunting story of love, temptation, and conflict that addresses some of the most important questions of the century.

"I like Beginning the World Again a lot, especially the way Roberta Silman deals with time. Her portrait of Los Alamos rings true."
--Freeman Dysoon

“Mixing historical figures with fictional characters, Silman tells a compelling...story of the 'women of Los Alamos,' the wives of the scientists who created the atomic bomb in the early 1940s. Filtering the narrative through the character of bright, vivacious Lily Fialka and her brilliant young husband, the author deftly interweaves the domestic details of family life with the larger issues spurred by the scientists’ deadly work on the 'gadget.' Enforced isolation in the barren New Mexico desert prompts Lily to forge fast friendships with History Lerner, an outspoken woman disowned by her family for marrying a Jew; with Jacob Wunderlich, a complex man with a passion for science, who is trapped in a disastrous marriage; and with Erik Traugott, a world-renowned scientist who becomes convinced that the atomic bomb will unleash a new kind of madness upon the world and does his best to convince Churchill and Roosevelt that they must put a stop to the research. For all of its weighty moral and historical themes, this novel is also an interesting and insightful group portrait of highly intelligent, motivated people focused on a common goal.”

Selected Works

New Fiction!
...penetrating psychological novel that plumbs the depths of how an individual’s guilty secrets can undermine his inner life and his marriage.
Short Stories
Direct, compelling, painfully honest, these moving stories dig deep beneath the surface of family life.
Earlier Novel
Tender, affecting novel that explores the pain of loss, and, in its wake, the arduous task of building anew, Boundaries reveals Roberta Silman's rich, absorbing perception of the priorities, the limitless reaches, and the insistence, of love.
A complex tale of joy, loss, and madness which ends in mysterious drowning.
A novel about the women whose husbands went to Los Alamos to make the atomic bomb.
Children's Book
A children's book about adoption.
The book concentrates on Copernicus, Kepler, and Galileo. It also deals briefly with contemporary physicists and astronomers.