Equilateral, a novel by Pew Fellow Ken Kalfus, was chosen by The Daily Beast as its 2013 Novel of the Year. The book, which takes place in the Egyptian desert in the late 1800s, "speaks most eloquently about America in 2013," according to Nathaniel Rich of The Daily Beast.
The novel's protagonist aims to build an enormous equilateral triangle to be filled with 22 million barrels of oil which, when lit, will attract the attention and begin civilization-transforming communications with Martians. Rich writes, "Equilateral can be read as a parable of the ways we blind ourselves through vanity, love, and greed. But the book has a timeliness that Kalfus may not have foreseen. The news of the past year was dominated by stories that were shocking only because they revealed the absurdity of the lies we have told ourselves."