JCC-Isaac Waldman Jewish Library-Events


About the Book

In the archives of Ontario's London Asylum, psychiatrist Harry Karlinsky comes across a familiar surname in the register. Could Thomas Darwin, involuntarily admitted to the Asylum as a "danger to others," be a relative of the great Charles Darwin? And what might have brought him to this place, where he died alone, a world away from home? 

In this stunning factitious biography, Karlinsky gives us a Nabokovian tale of Darwinian theory gone wrong. Although decisively a work of fiction, The Evolution of Inanimate Objects invites sustained uncertainty as to whether Thomas is a character of pure invention or simply a heretofore little known figure. 


"The Evolution of Inanimate Objects invites us to surrender, for a few hours, the distinction between biography and fiction, reason and delusion, the organic and the contrived — and what sly fun ensues!" —Joan Thomas, author of Curiosity and Reading by Lightning 

"Harry Karlinsky has produced an extraordinary artifact ... . The book is wonderfully imagined; it is a romp, a mine of information, and a refined pleasure." — Dr. Vivian M. Rakoff, Professor Emeritus, Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto

"An incredible work of the imagination. A revolutionary novel." — Lee Henderson, author of The Man Game and The Broken Record Technique

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