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Book cover of Heredity

Heredity

by Jenny Davidson

Publisher: Soft Skull Press, Inc.
Pages: 300
Paperback
ISBN: 9781887128797






Available to Buy

Overview of Heredity

"Elizabeth Mann, plagued by self-destructive habits, thinks leaving New York will solve her problems. Taking a travel-writing assignment to London, she encounters the skeleton of the famous 18th-century criminal Jonathan Wild in an obscure museum. Her burgeoning preoccupation with the thief is briefly interrupted by an encounter with Gideon Streetcar, an infertility specialist and lover-to-be. Then Streetcar presents her with the memoirs of Jonathan Wild's second wife, Mary." Absorbed in the journals, which have been painstakingly restored by a British Library technician, Elizabeth discovers that Wild's first wife was also named Elizabeth Mann. Further tantalized by this coincidence, Elizabeth's obsession with Wild consumes her completely, and with Gideon's expert assistance, she concocts a plan whereby she can give birth to the infamous man's child. She soon shows signs of pregnancy.

Synopsis of Heredity

New Yorker Elizabeth Mann travels to London on a travel writing assignment. Little does she know that her ultimate discoveries will be far more captivating than the happenings at Buckingham Palace or the activities of the royal family. When she becomes lovers with an infertility specialist, the two conceive a plan to create a new person using the DNA of an infamous 18th-century criminal. Combining elements of Girl, Interrupted and A. S. Byatt’s Possession, Heredity is both a deadpan detective story and a twisted historical romance.

The New York Times

There is bitterness in the fictional cosmos of Heredity, as well as that enemy of all farce — moral and psychological complexity. As a result, the novel has an identity crisis as acute as the one neo-Wild himself would face if he ever saw the light of day. Giving birth to Jonathan Wild's clone is a jarringly cartoonish notion living in a world of hard and realistic troubles. — Gary Krist

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Editorials

The New York Times

There is bitterness in the fictional cosmos of Heredity, as well as that enemy of all farce — moral and psychological complexity. As a result, the novel has an identity crisis as acute as the one neo-Wild himself would face if he ever saw the light of day. Giving birth to Jonathan Wild's clone is a jarringly cartoonish notion living in a world of hard and realistic troubles. — Gary Krist

Available to Buy

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