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Reproduction
June 22, 2023  /  288 pages  (is this book fiction or nonfiction?)
‘Compelling, elegant and bitingly smart.’ Nell Stevens, author of Briefly, A Delicious Life

A Frankenstein for the twenty-first century by the Dylan Thomas Prize-shortlisted author of Trinity and Speak

A woman begins work on a novel about Mary Shelley while pregnant for the first time. Recently married, she has just moved from New York to Montana.

As the woman writes, fragments of Shelley’s story begin to detach themselves from the page. Moving through her reproductive years, Shelley endured a catalogue of losses painful beyond comprehension. Still, she wrote, conceiving Frankenstein in 1816.

The woman’s experiences of pregnancy, miscarriage and labour are traumatic and disorienting, especially in the context of political upheaval, climate crisis, and an ongoing pandemic. Finally, she gives birth to a daughter and together they emerge into another world.

Then a friend from the past reappears. Anna is a biochemist who has been struggling to become a parent, a scientist who sees everything as an experiment. How far will she go in her desire to bring a baby into being?

Devastating and joyful, elegant and exacting, Reproduction is a powerful reminder of the hazards and the rewards involved in creating new life.
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