Harvard Book Store welcomes JEANETTE WINTERSON—author of the beloved Oranges are Not the Only Fruit—for a discussion of her latest novel, Frankissstein: A Love Story.
Lake Geneva, 1816. Nineteen-year-old Mary Shelley is inspired to write a story about a scientist who creates a new life-form. In Brexit Britain, a young transgender doctor called Ry is falling in love with Victor Stein, a celebrated professor leading the public debate around AI and carrying out some experiments of his own in a vast underground network of tunnels. Meanwhile, Ron Lord, just divorced and living with his mom again, is set to make his fortune launching a new generation of sex dolls for lonely men everywhere. Across the Atlantic, in Phoenix, Arizona, a cryogenics facility houses dozens of bodies of men and women who are medically and legally dead. . . but waiting to return to life.
What will happen when homo sapiens is no longer the smartest being on the planet? In fiercely intelligent prose, Jeanette Winterson shows us how much closer we are to that future than we realize. Funny and furious, bold and clear-sighted, Frankissstein is a love story about life itself.
“Sparky, funny and finely calibrated to ask weighty questions with the lightest of touches, Frankissstein is romantic, unsettling and beautifully written.” ―Sunday Express
“[A] dazzlingly intelligent meditation on the responsibilities of creation, the possibilities of artificial intelligence and the implications of both transsexuality and transhumanism. . . . Winterson’s great gift as a writer… is the ability to inject pure thought with such freewheeling enthusiasm and energy that ideas take on their own kind of joyous life. Frankissstein abounds with invention. . . . Deeply evocative historical realism balanced by hilarious, almost bawdy set pieces. . . . A work of both pleasure and profundity, robustly and skillfully structured.” ―The Guardian
“Intelligent and inventive. . . . Frankissstein is very funny. There has always been a fine line between horror and high camp, and this is a boundary that Winterson gleefully exploits.” ―The Times
Certain books were “banned in Boston” at least as far back as 1651, when one William Pynchon wrote a book criticizing Puritanism.