LAUREN GRODSTEIN’s new novel, The Explanation for Everything, is the story of a South Jersey college professor and his charismatic and challenging student. He is a biology professor, atheist and evolutionist. The student, an evangelical, has asked him to oversee her independent study on intelligent design. In the story of their relationship, Grodstein tackles the complex themes of loss, remorse, parenting, personal beliefs, and life in academia. She teaches creative writing at Rutgers University and is the author of two previous novels and a collection of short stories.