Evolution of Inanimate Objects: The Life & Collected Works of Thomas Darwin (1857-1879)

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9780007454358: Evolution of Inanimate Objects: The Life & Collected Works of Thomas Darwin (1857-1879)

LONGLISTED FOR THE WELLCOME TRUST BOOK PRIZE 2012 While carrying out historical research at an Ontario asylum, psychiatrist Harry Karlinsky comes across a familiar surname in the register. Could the "Thomas Darwin of Down, England" be a relative of the famous Charles Darwin? In a narrative woven from letters, photographs, historical documents and illustrations, what emerges is a sketch of Thomas's life - the last of eleven children born to Charles Darwin. It tells of his obsession with extending his father's studies into the realm of inanimate objects - kitchen utensils, to be precise. Can the theory of evolution be aplied to knives, forks and spoons? In this stunning factitious biography, Karlinsky presents us with the tragically short life of Thomas Darwin, leaving the reader to decide how much is fact and how much is fiction.

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About the Author:

Harry Karlinsky is a clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of British Columbia.

Review:

"More memorable than any door-stopping wodge of prose presenting itself as a diagnosis of the state of the nation." SCOTSMAN ON SUNDAY "Karlinsky's retelling of Darwinian family history is ingeniously wry and original. Prepare to be moved, amused and duped when you enter this quasi Victorian World." Essie Fox, Author of THE SOMNAMBULIST "Just when you think there's nothing new to be done with the novel, along comes a book that pushes the form in a fresh direction. Harry Karlinsky's extraordinary book slyly and playfully blurs the boundaries between fact and fiction, asking where one begins and the other ends. THE EVOLUTION OF INANIMATE OBJECTS is the work of a genuinely original imagination, a complete pleasure and like no other book you have ever read." John Harding, author of FLORENCE & GILES

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