Graham Moore's new novel is The Last Days of Night. From his interview with NPR's Scott Simon:
SIMON: And what drew you to this story?--Marshal Zeringue
MOORE: You know, I think I got very excited about trying to conjure the feeling of this period when America was being lit at night for the first time. When you read the journals, the diaries of people alive in the 1880s, they talk about seeing electric light bulbs for the first time. And they describe it as if they're seeing a new color. They had literally never seen anything remotely like this before. The effect was shocking, sort of literally and figuratively.
SIMON: And what moved you to make a, I believe, 26-year-old lawyer, Paul Cravath, the narrative center?
MOORE: You know, as I started researching this book, there was a long period of going through biographies of Edison, Westinghouse, Nikola Tesla. And then, one day, I kind of stumbled on this single sentence in an Edison biography that made me sort of stand up and say, this is it. And I was reading about how, in 1888, Edison sued his archrival George Westinghouse for violating his patent on the lightbulb. Edison sues Westinghouse for what historians estimate to be - the value of the lawsuit was worth about a billion dollars in 1888, which, you can imagine, was...[read on]