A Novel of the Anthropocene
About the Book
In his playful yet deeply serious third novel Jaspreet Singh links a fossil fraud in India, an ice core archive in Canada, and a climate change laboratory in Germany.
Jaspreet Singh’s much anticipated third novel traces a past crime that suddenly becomes confrontable on another continent. Lila, a brilliant Indian-born science journalist, and Lucia, an aspiring European-born writer, meet at a creative writing workshop in Calgary. Both try to use fiction to work through real-life trauma, but their entangled paths may reach all the way back to Lila’s time as a geology student in the foothills of the Himalayas.
How best to tell Lila’s story and follow the links between a fossil fraud in India, an ice core archive in Canada, the Burgess Shale quarry, and a climate change laboratory in Germany? As their detective work unfolds, the two women encounter some of today’s most urgent and fascinating science, as well as the many shapes of internal criticism in the sciences. They also come face to face with ecological grief and human-non-human entanglements. With this playful and deeply serious genre-blurring work, Singh gives a new direction to the novel in the Anthropocene.
“Face is riotous with erudition–a heady mix of global climate warnings, earth sciences, fossil discoveries and hoaxes, and speculative fiction (Liu Cixin and Octavia Butler get nods), all amalgamated into gorgeous prose. Lucky readers who choose this one can expect temporal shifts, compounding mysteries and irresistibly unreliable—and even otherworldly—narration.” —Shelf Awareness
“Dense with observation, this scalpel-sharp narrative flinches from nothing. It approaches memory, family, history, and the great oncoming disaster of the Anthropocene with courage bordering on fury.” —Premee Mohamed, author of The Annual Migration of Clouds
“Face is a mesmerizing novel about science and climate research in the Anthropocene . . . [that] manages to convey some of the most wonderful aspects of doing science, and at the same time (via the character of a ruthless palaeontologist) the dark, criminal side all scientists must remain vigilant about.” —Helmut Weissert, professor Earth Sciences, ETH Zürich, Switzerland
“Face sweeps us up in a science journalist’s struggle to forge meaning from her own, and the earth’s, fractured memories. Murder mystery, ghost story, science novel? Singh gives us an unsettling novel of ideas that questions the power of the stories we tell—about science, history, and our own lives—even as it employs that power to probe climate guilt and anxiety.” —Susan M. Gaines, author of Accidentals and Carbon Dreams