A BOX OF BIRDS – Buy it here
If you believe you are just a bundle of nerve cells and chemical reactions, does that change how it feels to fall in love?
Neuroscientist Dr Yvonne Churcher has problems in the world beyond her lab. One of her students, James, a dangerously attractive animal rights campaigner, has set out to challenge her certainties about how the brain works. His brilliant, unstable friend Gareth is obsessed with the biochemical basis of memory. When Gareth tries to persuade Yvonne to get involved with a plan to stimulate memory artificially, it sets off a chain of events involving unscrupulous biotech companies, stolen brain-mapping data and a strange brand of eco-terrorism.
Set in a near-future world of experimental brain research, A Box Of Birds combines the pace of a literary thriller with a darkly intense love story. It brilliantly dramatises the clash between two of the predominant philosophical positions of our age: the materialist view that ‘we’ are nothing more than brain cells and neurotransmitters, and the therapy-inspired view that the stories we tell about ourselves and our pasts have the capacity to shape our future.
Charles Fernyhough is a writer and psychologist. His first novel, The Auctioneer, was widely praised. The Baby in the Mirror, his book about the first three years of his daughter’s psychological development, was translated into seven languages. His most recent non-fiction book, Pieces of Light, is about the science and stories of autobiographical memory. He divides his time between London and County Durham.
“A serious novel and a great read” Sara Maitland
“Exhilarating and thought-provoking” Andrew Crumey
PUBLICATION DATE: 7th May 2013
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