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What to expect

‘Original, memorable, shimmering’ – Sarah Moss
‘Extraordinary, kaleidoscopic’ – Daisy Johnson
‘Restlessly inventive . . . delicate and persuasive’ – The Guardian

Today I might trace the rungs of her larynx or tap at her trachea like the bones of a xylophone . . .

Something gleeful and malevolent is moving in Lia’s body, learning her life from the inside out. A shape-shifter. A disaster tourist. It’s travelling down the banks of her canals. It’s spreading.

When a sudden diagnosis upends Lia’s world, the boundaries between her past and her present begin to collapse. Deeply buried secrets stir awake. As the voice prowling in Lia takes hold of her story, and the landscape around becomes indistinguishable from the one within, Lia and her family are faced with some of the hardest questions of all: how can we move on from the events that have shaped us, when our bodies harbour everything? And what does it mean to die with grace, when you’re simply not ready to let go?

Maps of Our Spectacular Bodies is a story of coming-of-age at the end of a life. Utterly heart-breaking yet darkly funny, Maddie Mortimer’s astonishing debut is a symphonic journey through one woman’s body: a wild and lyrical celebration of desire, forgiveness, and the darkness within us all.

Critics Review

  • Here is a book to dance and sing about. An extraordinary, kaleidoscopic dive into language

    Daisy Johnson, Man Booker-shortlisted author of Everything, Under
  • An original and memorable novel written in shimmering prose. The characters stayed with me long after I’d finished reading

    Sarah Moss, Women's Prize-shortlisted author of Ghost Wall and Summerwater
  • Both expansive and intimate, Maps of Our Spectacular Bodies is an intricate portrait of a life hurtling towards the inevitable. An extraordinary debut.

    Kiran Millwood Hargrave, Sunday Times bestselling author of The Mercies
  • A beautiful novel about death that feels completely alive, pulsing with tenderness and wit

    Megan Hunter, author of The End We Start From and The Harpy
  • Lyrical and beautiful, this is a novel unlike anything else

    Stylist
  • An extraordinary debut, unlike anything I’ve read. Wildly inventive, poetic and poignant, this is a rare gem of a novel that took my imagination to new places and touched my heart.

    Emma Stonex, Sunday Times bestselling author of The Lamplighters

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