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Love and Other Thought Experiments: Longlisted for the Booker Prize 2020

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It was always nice when someone had an outside interest or experience to really bring something new to the table. But I never felt unmoored; Ward may have a very strong agenda with this book but she also allows the reader to focus on what they want to within the pages of this story, whether fantastical or philosophical. In fact, the novel asks us to consider how far can we extend our empathy if humanity is to survive and is on the whole rather positive on our loving capacity to achieve this. Don’t worry if you can’t think of any famous thought experiments because all the ones used in this book are briefly explained at the start of their chapter.

Rachel Cusk ( “A life’s work” a book she alternately snarled at and wept into” (119), Borges, Anthony Trollope and Charles Dickens among them.

I am also becoming impatient with LGBT+ representation that’s simply there and doesn’t add anything to the story – I don’t think it’s wrong to do this, per se, but I really want to read books that think about LGBT+ themes, not books that just add LGBT+ characters.

If I were a thought experiment,’ Rachel asked Eliza as they got into bed that night, ‘What one would I be? Her debut novel, Love and Other Thought Experiments, was published in February 2020 by Corsair and was longlisted for the Booker Prize in July 2020. Greg tells him that she is in space and it’s no surprise that Arthur eventually becomes an astronaut in America. And, I could se where all of this is going as the links between the stories are more or less evident.The 103 third parties who use cookies on this service do so for their purposes of displaying and measuring personalized ads, generating audience insights, and developing and improving products.

I was expecting a speculative or magical realism or maybe even surrealism novel and this one verges much more on Sci-fi. Sometimes philosophy and fiction meet in strange alleys of literature to produce a piece worth spending a long while pondering upon and this is one such work. I simply didn’t care what happened to any of the characters beyond the boy swimming out to sea, and even there the effect might have been more attributable to the simple presentation of an innocent child suddenly in grave danger rather than any particularly deft wording on Ward’s part. Philosophy meets fiction in this beguiling and intriguing novel of minds, hearts, other worlds, love, death and everything in between.This in turn leads to another neat Borges link as in his review of Finnegans Wake he picked up on this particular neologism as an example of, in his view, unsatisfactory wordplay. There is a full and comprehensive “Further Reading” section at the end of the book (re-enforcing the academic context of this book).

It is a book to stay with, it evolves and cleverly leads you into the culmination of the final chapters. The novel literally brings these questions to life while telling a moving tale about a family which spans many decades and imaginatively dips into a variety of perspectives.I read a lot, but not much of what I read are books that appear on Booker Prize Long Lists (or win Booker Prizes). There were connections that I missed the first time and also there were some pieces of wonderful writing that stood out for me. Ward has a Open University Degree in Literature and Philosophy and a PhD in the use of narrative in philosophy of the mind. Also, however brilliant YA is, there are some things it just can’t tackle because of the constraints of its remit – e. It’s definitely a tempting topic for authors, but banning it from MFA work sounds like a good way to keep things fresh and interesting.

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