Murmur, by Will Eaves
Synopsis: Convicted of gross indecency with another male in 1952, Turing was sentenced to a regimen of punitive hormonal injection. He grew breasts, survived the year-long ordeal, but died in 1954. Verdict: suicide. Alec Pryor – the book’s avatar for Turing – is caught between fascination and horror as he becomes a new version of himself.
The novel asks: what does great bodily change (torture) do to a person’s mind? The bulk of the book is a sequence of dreams and letters; these are bookended by extracts from a fictional journal that show a brilliant intellect struggling to come to terms with the effects of that change. It further asks: how does a mathematician, so used to removing personal bias from analysis – the sine qua non of scientific method – fit the personal experience of pain/joy/love back into a neutral explanatory scheme?
Published: March 2018 | ISBN: 978-1909585263
Mini-bio: Will Eaves was born in Bath in 1967. He is the author of two other novels, The Oversight (2001) and Nothing To Be Afraid Of (2005), and a collection of poems, Sound Houses (2011). For many years he was the arts editor of the Times Literary Supplement. He now teaches at the University of Warwick. – PanMacmillan
Author’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/WillEaves
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Paperback Edition: Murmur