Provocative, suspenseful, and startlingly original, Theory of Bastards explores speculative science and technology of the near-future while grounding the story in the intimate relationships between people and animals, in all combinations. Both thrilling and character driven, this novel should please fans of Margaret Atwood and Ann Patchett as well as William Gibson and Neil Stephenson lovers, and it has the best primate characters this side of Planet of the Apes!— From Jonathan's Picks
WINNER 2019 Philip K. Dick Award for BEST Science Fiction
WINNER 2019 Neukom Institute Literary Arts Award for Speculative Fiction
One of The Washington Post's 50 Notable Works of fiction in 2018
"Stage four. Surgery. Recovering." While those are the simple words that once described Dr. Francine Burk's situation, the reality is much more complex. Her new reality is bacon rinds for breakfast and feeling unduly thrilled by her increasing ability to walk across a room without assistance. And it's being offered a placement at a prestigious research institute where she can put to good use her recent award money. With the Foundation's advanced technological resources and a group of fascinating primates, Francine can begin to verify her subversive scientific discovery, which has challenged the foundations of history--her Theory of Bastards.
Frankie finds that the bonobos she's studying are as complex as the humans she's working alongside. Their personalities are strong and distinct, and reigning over it all is Mama, the commanding matriarchal leader of the group. Frankie comes to know the bonobos and to further develop her groundbreaking theory with the help of her research partner, a man with a complicated past and perhaps a place in her future. And then something changes everything, and the lines that divide them--between subject and scientist, between colleague and companion--begin to blur.
With deft skill and heartbreaking honesty, Audrey Schulman delves into the very nature of her characters. Her newest novel explores the nuances of communication, the implications of unquestioned technological advancement, and the enduring power of love in a way that is essential and urgent in today's world. This thrilling literary novel will resonate, long after the final page is turned.
About the Author
Audrey Schulman is the author of four previous novels: Three Weeks in December (Europa 2012), Swimming with Jonah, The Cage, and A House Named Brazil. Her work has been translated into eleven languages. Born in Montreal, she now lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she runs HEET, a non-profit.