2022 Booker Prize longlist Today I might trace the rungs of her larynx or tap at her trachea like the bones of a xylophone or cook up or undo some great horrors of my own because here is the thing about bodies: they are impossibly easy to prowl, without anyone suspecting a thing. Until, of course, they do. And then, of course, they aren't. When Lia finds out that her cancer is back, she tries to keep the landscapes of her past, her present and her body separate. But bodies are porous, unpredictable places. Lia's story is told, in part, by the very thing that is killing her; a gleeful and malevolent voice that shape-shifts through her systems, learning her life from the inside-out. We come to understand the people that have shaped her: a daughter, navigating the horrors of the playground; a husband, struggling to maintain a sense of self as everything falls apart; a regretful mother making up for lost time; and a troubled former lover who belongs to Lia's past, but won't stay there. In turn they each take up their place in the changing landscape of Lia's body, at the centre of which dances our restless narrator and a boy nicknamed 'Red'; the chemotherapy that is Lia's last hope. Maps of Our Spectacular Bodies is a story of coming-of-age at the end of a life - a heartbreaking tale of desire, love and forgiveness, a wild and fierce journey through one woman's body.
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Date of Publication: 25/03/2022