Sparrow (Russell)

The Sparrow 
Mary Doria Russell, 1996
Random House
405 pp.
ISBN-13: 9780449912553

It is the year 2019. From an outer space listening post on Puerto Rico come the sounds of exquisite singing—emanating from a planet that will be known by earth as Rakhat.

While the international community debates endlessly about sending a mission, a scientific team of eight Jesuits quietly launches its own.

What they discover on Rakhat makes them question the very basis of what it means to be human. Four decades later, Emilio Sandoz, the sole survivor, attempts to tell what happened. (From the publisher.)

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