Maps of Our Spectacular Bodies
LONGLISTED FOR THE DESMOND ELLIOTT PRIZE 2022
'Original, memorable, shimmering' - Sarah Moss
'Extraordinary, kaleidoscopic' - Daisy Johnson
'Restlessly inventive . . . delicate and persuasive' - The Guardian
Something gleeful and malevolent is moving in Lia’s body, learning her life from the inside out. A shape-shifter. A disaster tourist. It’s travelling down the banks of her canals. It’s spreading.
When a sudden diagnosis upends Lia’s world, the boundaries between her past and her present begin to collapse. Deeply buried secrets stir awake. As the voice prowling in Lia takes hold of her story, and the landscape around becomes indistinguishable from the one within, Lia and her family are faced with some of the hardest questions of all: how can we move on from the events that have shaped us, when our bodies harbour everything? And what does it mean to die with grace, when you’re simply not ready to let go?
Maps of Our Spectacular Bodies is a story of coming-of-age at the end of a life. Utterly heart-breaking yet darkly funny, Maddie Mortimer’s astonishing debut is a symphonic journey through one woman’s body: a wild and lyrical celebration of desire, forgiveness, and the darkness within us all.
Here is a book to dance and sing about. An extraordinary, kaleidoscopic dive into language
Daisy Johnson, Man Booker-shortlisted author of Everything, Under
An original and memorable novel written in shimmering prose. The characters stayed with me long after I’d finished reading
Sarah Moss, Women's Prize-shortlisted author of Ghost Wall and Summerwater
Both expansive and intimate, Maps of Our Spectacular Bodies is an intricate portrait of a life hurtling towards the inevitable. An extraordinary debut.
Kiran Millwood Hargrave, Sunday Times bestselling author of The Mercies