The Evolution of Inanimate Objects

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9780007460052: The Evolution of Inanimate Objects

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In a narrative woven from letters, photographs, historical documents and illustrations, what emerges is a sketch of Thomas’s life — the last of eleven children born to Charles Darwin.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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Review:

‘This may be a bagatelle of a novel, but it is one with so much charm and erudition it is more memorable than any door-stopping wodge of prose presenting itself as a diagnosis of the state of the nation.’ The Scotsman

‘Karlinsky’s retelling of Darwinian family history is ingeniously wry and original.’ 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.’ John Harding, author of FLORENCE & GILES

‘Delightfully imaginative’ Historical Novels Review

About the Author:

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

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