Based on the true story of the 1965 “dolphin house” experiment, this spellbinding novel captures the tenor of the social experiments of the 1960s in award-winning author Audrey Schulman’s tightly paced and evocative style.
It is 1965, and Cora, a young, hearing impaired woman, buys a one-way ticket to the island of St. Thomas, where she discovers four dolphins held in captivity as part of an experiment led by the obsessive Dr. Blum. Drawn by a strong connection to the dolphins, Cora falls in with the scientists and discovers her need to protect the animals.
Recognizing Cora’s knack for communication, Blum uses her for what will turn into one of the most fascinating experiments in modern science: an attempt to teach the dolphins human language by creating a home in which she and a dolphin can live together.
As the experiment progresses, Cora forges a remarkable bond with the creatures, until her hard-won knowledge clashes with the male-dominated world of science. As a terrible scandal threatens to engulf the experiment, Cora’s fight to save the dolphins becomes a battle to save herself.
A Note From the Publisher
- Readers of high-quality literary fiction, including the works of Emily St. John Mandel, Barbara Kingsolver, Ann Patchett’s State of Wonder
- Readers of Fox and I by Catherine Raven , Euphoria by Lily King, H is for Hawk by Helen MacDonald, and the novels of Patricia Engel
- Fans of the secret history of women in science, readers of Margot Lee Shetterly’s Hidden Figures and Nathalia Holt’s Rise of the Rocket Girls
- Readers of high-end science and speculative fiction who welcome this latest entry from a highly-lauded author
KEY SELLING POINTS
- Author Audrey Schulman has won the Philip K. Dick Award, the Neukom Literary Award, and the John W Campbell Memorial Award
- Main character’s Deafness is well-researched and provides rare, elegant insight into living with the condition in the 60’s
- The book provides insight into one of the most explosive scientific scandals in recent history, telling the tale from the point of view from the woman for the first time
- Readers will appreciate Schulman’s well-researched anthrozoology
Praise for A Theory of Bastards
“The novel I can’t get out of my head is Audrey Schulman’s mid-Collapse Theory of Bastards, with its nuanced confluence of the personal and the epic, the human and the nonhuman.”—Jeff VanderMeer
“Both an edifying read and an exhilarating one.”—The Economist
“You will be unable to look away from the page, hardly be able to draw a breath.”—Washington Post
“The best novel I’d read in months, an actual page-turner of a book that blended literary fiction with sci-fi and anthropological research. [. . .] Theory of Bastards is something special.”—Paul Constant, The Seattle Review of Books
“An astute, impeccable page-turner readers will savor. ”—Publishers Weekly
“Schulman is a swift, confident, engaging writer who wields her considerable research [with] a nimble touch.”—Wall Street Journal
“Beguiling, irreverent, and full of heart.”—Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)
Marketing & Publicity
- Galleys and e-galleys (Edelweiss, NetGalley) widely available;
- Major National and regional Media campaign
- Feature title at Winter Institute
- Submission to Indie Next, Library Read
- Bookshop.org, Shelf, Indie outreach campaigns
- Author available for virtual events and interviews
- Mailings and outreach to celebrity influencers