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Murmur
By (author): Will Eaves
9781942658641 Paperback, Trade English General Trade FICTION / Biographical Apr 19, 2019
$25.50 CAD
Active 5 x 8 x 0.49 in 184 pages Bellevue Literary Press

“[Murmur will] grip your mind in the very first pages, break your heart halfway through, and in the end, strangely, unexpectedly, restore your faith in human beings and their endless capacity for resilience.” —Wellcome Book Prize chair of judges Elif Shafak in theGuardian

“Eaves’ playful, fiercely intelligent interpretation of aspects of the life of a character who closely resembles the brilliant, multifaceted Alan Turing is a dreamlike wonder of memory and consciousness. Its ways are mysterious, its effect deepens with every reading.” —Republic of Consciousness Prize judge Catherine Taylor in theGuardian

InMurmur, a hallucinatory masterwork, Will Eaves invites us into the brilliant mind of Alec Pryor, a character inspired by Alan Turing. Turing, father of artificial intelligence and pioneer of radical new techniques to break the Nazi Enigma cipher during World War II, was later persecuted by the British state for “gross indecency with another male” and forced to undergo chemical castration. Set during the devastating period before Turing’s suicide,Murmur evokes an extraordinary life, the beauty and sorrows of love, and the nature of consciousness.

Will Eaves is the author of two poetry collections and five novels, includingMurmur, the first of his novels to be published in the United States. His work has appeared in theGuardian,New Yorker, andYale Review, and has been shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award and Encore Award.Murmur, winner of the Wellcome Book Prize and Republic of Consciousness Prize, has also been shortlisted for the Goldsmiths Prize and James Tait Black Prize, and longlisted for the Rathbones Folio Prize. Its first chapter was shortlisted for the BBC National Short Story Award. Previously the arts editor of theTimes Literary Supplement, Eaves now co-hostsThe Neuromantics podcast, teaches writing at the University of Warwick, and lives in London.

Will Eaves is the author of two poetry collections and five novels, includingMurmur, the first of his novels to be published in the United States. His work has appeared in theGuardian,New Yorker, andYale Review, and has been shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award and Encore Award.Murmur, winner of the Wellcome Book Prize and Republic of Consciousness Prize, has also been shortlisted for the Goldsmiths Prize and James Tait Black Prize, and longlisted for the Rathbones Folio Prize. Its first chapter was shortlisted for the BBC National Short Story Award. Previously the arts editor of theTimes Literary Supplement, Eaves now co-hostsThe Neuromantics podcast, teaches writing at the University of Warwick, and lives in London.

Wellcome Book Prize Winner
Republic of Consciousness Prize Winner
Goldsmiths Prize Shortlist
James Tait Black Prize Shortlist
BBC National Short Story Award Shortlist (for the novel’s opening chapter)
Rathbones Folio Prize Longlist
New Scientist “Best Book of the Year” selection
Guardian “Best Book of the Year” selection
Times Literary Supplement “Book of the Year” selection
Australian Book Review “Book of the Year” selection

Kirkus Reviews “Must-Read LGBTQ Fiction” selection

“[Murmur will] grip your mind in the very first pages, break your heart halfway through, and in the end, strangely, unexpectedly, restore your faith in human beings and their endless capacity for resilience.” —Wellcome Book Prize chair of judges Elif Shafak in theGuardian

“Eaves’ playful, fiercely intelligent interpretation of aspects of the life of a character who closely resembles the brilliant, multifaceted Alan Turing is a dreamlike wonder of memory and consciousness. Its ways are mysterious, its effect deepens with every reading.” —Republic of Consciousness Prize judge Catherine Taylor in theGuardian

Murmur is a fully achieved literary experiment, digging deep into all the dimensions of human consciousness.” —Goldsmiths Prize judge’s citation

Murmur is a restrained and elegant exploration of cause and effect, and the meaning of life and love.” —BBC judges’ citation

“Beautiful and hallucinatory. . . . From extreme isolation and suffering springs a vision of universal connectedness.” —Wall Street Journal

“Gripping. . . . A wildly inventive and moving exploration of the human mind.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Exquisite. . . . This novel will submerge readers in contemplation and dazzling prose as it captures the essence of mind and matter.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Complex and erudite. . . . [Murmur] bears reading twice.” —Library Journal

“A deftly crafted read from beginning to end. . . . Extraordinary and unreservedly recommended.” —Midwest Book Review

“Scrupulous, humane . . . [Murmur] is as bracingly intelligent as it is brave. . . . [Eaves] knows that Turing’s theories of consciousness have implications for fiction, and that fiction can operate at the frontiers of what we know about the workings of our minds.” —Guardian

“An extraordinary exploration of dreams, consciousness, science and the future.” —New Scientist

“Exceptionally poised and elegant. . . .Murmur is a poignant meditation on the irrepressible complexity of human nature and sexuality, and a powerful indictment of the cowardice and groupthink that sustain state-sanctioned barbarism. It also poses timely questions about the digital world Turing’s pioneering work helped bring about.” —Irish Times

“Eaves has achieved one of the pinnacles of novelistic endeavour: he has given deep thought to human experience, and in doing so brought to life the ‘self-conscious wonder’ of thought itself.” —Times Literary Supplement

Murmur is boldly different from anything else written about Turing.” —Times

“There is science, there is art and there is Jungian symbolism. . . . For all its challenges,Murmur is also beautiful [in its] willingness to embrace opacity, its portrayal of the labyrinthine paths along which thought proceeds, and its exhilarating ambition to test Alec’s belief that ‘[a] mind can’t prove or step outside itself’ by inviting us to step out from ours, and into his.” —New Statesman

“No one can be sure of what went through Turing’s mind in the final months before his suicide, butMurmur—a weaving, witty text packed with insight about the future—feels entirely believable.” —E&T Magazine

“[Murmur] has achieved the holy grail of modern prose: conveying consciousness. . . . An exquisitely crafted novel.” —Review 31

“Ambitiously and brilliantly illustrates the relationships between fiction, consciousness, and artificial intelligence.” —Australian Book Review

“Presented through journal entries, letters and a feverish dream chronicle,Murmur offers a poetically charged reading experience that is at once scientifically astute, philosophically engaging, and emotionally disturbing. . . . A bold, imaginative accomplishment.” —Rough Ghosts

“It takes a certain literary brilliance to convey the conscious and unconscious mind of one of history’s greatest intellects. Will Eaves eloquently probes the boundaries between dreams, perception, and reality, prompting the reader to examine the recesses of their own labyrinthine psyche. A seamless dialogue between art and science, and fact and fiction.” —Heather Berlin, Ph.D., M.P.H., neuroscientist and host ofScience Goes to the Movies andStartalk All-Stars

Murmur is a profound meditation on what machine consciousness might mean, the implications of AI, where it will all lead. It’s one of the big stories of our time, though no one else has treated it with such depth and originality.” —Peter Blegvad, author ofThe Book of Leviathan

“Tender and funny,Murmur takes the tragic story of Turing’s life and punishment and ingeniously transforms it into something glittering, subversive, and even triumphant. Eaves has built a magnificently challenging memorial to one of the great twentieth-century martyrs.” —Patrick Gale, author ofRough Music andA Place Called Winter

“Will Eaves’s [Murmur] is masterful—compassionate, principled, and moving. It is deeply wise, with the aching loneliness of both human indignity and dignity, despair and courage.” —Anne Michaels, author ofFugitive Pieces andAll We Saw

Murmur by Will Eaves is a really extraordinary book, unlike any other. He’s in a class of his own.” —Max Porter, author ofGrief Is the Thing with Feathers

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