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Maddie Mortimer

Maps of Our Spectacular Bodies

Maps of Our Spectacular Bodies


ISBN: 9781529069372

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Something gleeful and malevolent is moving in Lia’s body. It’s learning her life from the inside. It shape-shifts down the banks of her canals, leaks through her tissue, nooks and nodes. It taps her trachea like the bones of a xylophone. It’s spreading.
This is Lia’s story. From the perspective of the thing that’s killing her.
When Lia finds out that her cancer is back, she tries to keep the landscapes of her past, her present and her body separate; for the sake of Iris, her daughter, living out the last of childhood, and for her husband, Harry, desperate to keep their lives and his tiny garden flourishing.
But bodies are porous, unpredictable places; they harbour characters ancient and new, loved and forgotten – there to taunt or defend. Chemotherapy, a toxic red boy on a beast of a bike, rushes in to purge the place, singing strange medical hymns. Matthew, her first love, lurks around her lungs like a fossil, deep and secret as their shared moments in the parish. Meanwhile, her mother bites her bible tongue and tries to make up for the lost time.
As Lia’s condition worsens, the narrator inside her strengthens; the boundaries between her past, her present and her body begin to leak and spill. She is faced with urgent questions about what it means to let go, to forgive and die with grace.

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