Maps of Our Spectacular Bodies

Maddie Mortimer

2022 Nominee

Desmond Elliott Prize

31 March 2022
9781529069365
448 pages

Synopsis

Longlisted for the Booker Prize 2022
Winner of 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.

Remarkable . . . A tearjerker, but it's hopeful too . . . Brave, inventive and mature
Here is a book to dance and sing about. An extraordinary, kaleidoscopic dive into language
Compelling and uplifting . . . undeniably impressive: Mortimer is clearly a talent to watch

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