Specimen Days by Michael Cunningham is a novel consisting of three distinct stories set in New York City across multiple eras. In the Machine follows a boy in 19th century New York City after his older brother Simon dies in a factory accident. The Children’s Crusade follows a woman in present day New York City as she investigates a potential domestic terrorism conspiracy. Like Beauty follows an artificially constructed human as he struggles for survival and meaning, beginning in a New York City of the distant future. This novel explores themes of technology, nature, mortality, and interpersonal connection.