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Available for pre-ordering now at retailers including Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Bookshop, and Politics and Prose

Publisher W. W. Norton describes this debut book, published in January of 2024, as "a wholly original collection of powerful, emotionally raw, and unforgettable personal essays that probe the places where science touches our lives most intimately."

Praise for Transient and Strange:

“This artful debut essay collection from NPR science correspondent Greenfieldboyce mixes scientific anecdotes with intimate personal reflections. . . . The inventive juxtaposition of science with autobiography yields unexpected insights buoyed by evocative prose. Greenfieldboyce dazzles with her auspicious first outing.”


“The collection’s title is borrowed from a phrase in a Walt Whitman poem. He surely would be pleased to be linked to Greenfieldboyce’s display of inquiry and imagination, inevitability and possibilities.”


"In “Transient and Strange” — the title is taken from Walt Whitman’s description of the “huge meteor procession” that “sail’d its balls of unearthly light over our heads” — she narrates a sequence of events that, like those meteors, are both passing and unsettling...Without ever quite expressing it directly, the book says: “Here I am. This is the me you do not usually see.”"


"Her essays elucidate tornadoes, meteors, black holes, and fleas, among other phenomena of our shared world. She also probes deeply into her own past and psyche, interweaving facts with personal history. In print as in radio, her voice is wry, charming, informative, and, indeed, sometimes strange."


"In a perfect blend of science and memoir, Nell Greenfieldboyce imbues objects of study—meteorites, tornadoes, black holes, fleas—with emotional beauty. Transient and Strange is a deeply relatable account of the pleasures and the terrors of being a woman, being a mother, and being deeply curious about the universe."

Emma Marris, author of Wild Souls

"For almost twenty years, Nell Greenfieldboyce’s reporting on science, technology, and culture has charmed and enlightened her listeners. In these elegant, unforgettable essays, her inimitable voice guides us into more complex and personal territory, asking the questions that haunt us all."

Michelle Nijhuis, author of Beloved Beasts

"Nell Greenfieldboyce has a writer’s respect for beauty, complexity, and mystery, and a reporter’s instinctive intolerance for bullshit. Although she is never sentimental, she does harbor her idiosyncratic adamant passions: a spider that builds a web in her window, a fleck of a meteorite worn as a pendant, the infinitesimal marvel that is the flea, her parents’ immortal, miraculous toaster. What hope or solace there is in this universe, and in these essays, does not come easily, or cheap—and it’s all the more valuable for it."

Tim Kreider, author of I Wrote This Book Because I Love You

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