“A novel for now, it moves in cleverly controlled concentric circles of history, science, and contemplation. Nada’s voice is as stylishly sharp as ever.”

KAVITA A. JINDAL, author of A Flash of Pepper

“Post-dualist Nada Holland speaks from our aching, ghosted, vital sublayers […] Motherborn spirals in a violently anti-linear shape, calling out the page as an outdated artifact.”

NORA CHASSLER, author of Grandmother Divided by Monkey Equals Outer Space

Motherborn

In response to catastrophes of climate change, droughts, tsunamis and pandemics: a feminist reimagining of the power of the evolutionary algorithm to sustain and nurture.

Mysticism is history. Chinna de Kock has awoken to the fact that she cannot override the virus mutating at warp speed, overtaking her. Traumatised by events in her Cambridge lab, she has stopped eating and speaking, but her calculations allow her to feel, map and assesses her way forwards. With her estranged mother Elektra riding out the pandemic in Bali, these mathematical incantations are her only hope for survival.

Enter Jill Purce, a cult '70s documentary maker who Chinna, from her grandmother's bed in Sumatra, watches fervently. Chinna is enamoured: by Jill and her belief in the vitality of change, and by the piercing gaze of her son, Chinna's professor Merlin, whose vision of fungi as flesh, life as polyphony, has turned viral.

Exuberant and unforgettable, Nada Holland takes the reader beyond easy stoicism and into more puzzling terrain. Uncovering the mysteries that bring together East and West, future and past, and mother and daughter, Motherborn is a celebration of our emergent and entangled life on earth.

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