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“Powers is a writer for whom the ideas very close to the surface—he makes them part of the plot. In this book he’s engaging with ideas about neuroscience and the brain, like: where does emotion reside? Where does reason reside? How do these relate to each other? And how does this fit into our ideas about what counts as ‘normal behaviour’. And he’s exploring all of that, in a landscape, a created world that is itself clearly shaped by the present realities of climate change. What is considered normal human behaviour is then understood against a global set of circumstances in which what is considered normal is being disrupted by the “abnormal” conditions of climate change. It’s a tension that I think he uses very fruitfully in the novel.” Read more...
The Best Fiction of 2021: The Booker Prize Shortlist
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