By Louisa Hall
For fans of David Mitchell and Margaret Atwood comes this poignant novel from Waterstones Book Club author Louisa Hall, with a tale will make readers everywhere question what it really means to be human. Emily St. John Mandel, author of Station Eleven, calls Speak the 'rarest of finds'.
She cannot run. She cannot walk. She cannot even blink. As her batteries run down for the final time, all she can do is speak. Will you listen?
From a pilgrim girl's diary, to a traumatised child talking to a software program; from Alan Turing's conviction in the 1950s, to a genius imprisoned in 2040 for creating illegally lifelike dolls: all these lives have shaped and changed a single artificial intelligence - MARY3. In Speak she tells you their story, and her own. It is the last story she will ever tell, spoken both in celebration and in warning.
When machines learn to speak, who decides what it means to be human?
New York Times
After graduating from Harvard, Louisa Hall played squash professionally while working in a research lab at the Albert Einstein Hospital. She holds a PhD in literature from the University of Texas, where she currently teaches literature and creative writing, and supervises a poetry workshop at the Austin State Psychiatric Hospital. She is the author of the novel The Carriage House and her poems have been published in the New Republic, Southwest Review, Ellipsis and other journals.
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- Publication date:
25 Feb 2016
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SPEAK is that rarest of finds: a novel that doesn't remind me of any other book I've ever read. A complex, nuanced, and beautifully written meditation on language, immortality, the nature of memory, the ethical problems of artificial intelligence, and what it means to be human. — Emily St. John Mandel, author of STATION ELEVEN
Beautifully illustrates the human longing at the heart of our obsession with technology . . . a hypnotic read — Guardian
Comes out of nowhere and hits like a thunderbolt. It's not just one of the smartest books of the year, it's one of the most beautiful ones, and it almost seems like an understatement to call it a masterpiece. — NPR
Reads like a hybrid of David Mitchell and Margaret Atwood . . . a brilliant novel — Philipp Meyer, author of THE SON
A thumping good read. Every time I sit down with it, it makes me happy all over again — Joe Hill, author of HORNS