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.
Praise for The Evolution of Inanimate Objects
"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