If You Exist
In Search of a Reader Deep in the Future
by Lillian Moats
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Pub Date 23 Aug 2021 | Archive Date 02 Sep 2021
Three Arts Press, Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA), Members' Titles
If You Exist is a personal message written to no one living now, but rather to one of our human progeny who might find it many generations in the future. The aging narrator, like others in her generation, faces her own mortality at the same time she faces the possibility of thousands more species, including her own, becoming extinct. She speaks of “Hunters” and “Gatherers” as she has radically redefined these terms, and applies them to her concerns about the future of Homo sapiens and to the survival of life on our planet.
As a private heartfelt message to someone who may never exist, the writer likens her missive to “a note in a bottle set to sea in hopes of reaching you, if you exist in the future on some unfathomable shore.” The narrator shares her personal take on where humanity is now and where we might be heading depending on what choices we will make. Wishing that her imagined reader could answer questions about whether the writer’s anxieties have ever been resolved, she writes about climate change and such topics as human migration, racism, the pandemic, as well as her projected concerns about the possibilities of unbridled technical advancement and human redesign.
After offering her perspective on where hope could lie, the writer ends her note with “the stuff of fairy tales,” her positive fantasy in the final chapter called, “If We Could Meet.”
A Note From the Publisher
EBOOK (ISBN: 9781736723210)
EBOOK (ISBN: 9781736723210)
"I entreat you to read If You Exist. Author Lillian Moats extends challenging insights and queries about possible futures of past and present beings known to us as humans. This is her “note in a bottle” which she hopes will reach an individual, generations hence, “on some unfathomable shore.” What questions does she have for the recipient? Do remnants or improvements exist of what is now considered human? Redefining “Gatherers” and “Hunters” for our present day, she offers caveats, critiques, and hopes of worlds we contrive or allow to evolve. Lillian Moats teaches that much turns on key questions: Will Gatherers or Hunters guide successive generations? Has the stranger been gathered in or hunted down? Composed in artistically drawn short chapters, the book moves to a crescendo of possibilities. I urge you to experience the messages, and hopefully to embody them."
—William H. Schubert, Professor Emeritus and former University Scholar, University of Illinois at Chicago; a Fellow of the International Academy of Education
“Lillian Moats has once again produced a short work of great power. The author addresses leading issues of our age in a manner intended for contemporary readers, yet written as if she is addressing a hoped for reader in a distant future. With a realistic mixture of pessimism and optimism and remarkable sensitivity, understanding, and insight, she focuses on no less fundamental questions than the future of Homo sapiens and Planet Earth. The author explains why that future is in the hands of those alive at present. If You Exist is a gift that could keep on giving, and deserves the attention of a wide audience."
—Kathleen E. McCrone, PhD, Professor Emeritus, History and former Executive Dean, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Windsor (Canada)
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 5 members
This little book moved me almost to tears. While it was a bit too on the nose sometimes, there is no reason to pretend that things shouldn’t be this obvious. We need a warning. I will be adding this to one of my courses in 2022. It comes out too late for me to add it in 2021. My senior seminar students need to read this, think about this, and process what is happening here.
IF YOU EXIST, IN SEARCH OF A READER DEEP IN THE FUTURE is another excellent Moats' read. Always succinct, always profound, Moats' prose is like crystal. Unlike crystal, however, the sentiments she expresses are warm and human. Moats astutely describes the most urgent problems facing humanity today (right up through the murder of George Floyd) without blinking, without boring or overloading us. Whether humanity now will make possible humanity in the future remains to be seen-- Moats' draws the direct connection; it all depends on us to awaken. Her arguments are compelling, and her conclusion is not only intelligent, but extremely moving. MY HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION!
If You Exist by Lillian Moats Thanks to Netgalley I have this opportunity to post this review. The book “If You Exist” is an interesting concept. It is, as the author describes, like a “message in a bottle” to future humans many generations from now... if they exist. But “If You Exist” is really a message to all humans whether living now or in the future. Moats thoughtfully and painfully describes her greatest sorrows and worries of today and the distant tomorrows. She worries about climate change, racism, pandemics, technical progress and more. But Moats is not just expressing her worries to what form of human may exist in the future, she is begging humans of today to solve these issues before they end us. The last chapter ends with an intriguing and hopeful scenerio. Worth the read to find out what outcome she might imagine.