02 July 2024, 19:00

Helen Phillips on Hum

"Stunning, strangely beautiful, and written from a place of deep compassion but also a clear and analytical eye. Helen Phillips, in typical bravura fashion, has found a way to make visible uncomfortable truths about our present by interrogating the near-future. I loved it."

— Jeff VanderMeer

Join us for an evening with Helen Phillips (National Book Award–longlistee) as she discusses Hum, her extraordinary new work of speculative fiction.

Free & open to all. Places limited. Arrive early to avoid disappointment.

From critically acclaimed, prize-winning author Helen Phillips comes an urgent, compelling and deeply human novel that asks: how do we raise our children for a future that is unknown, that we can't see ourselves?

In a hot and gritty city populated by super-intelligent robots called 'Hums', May seeks some reprieve from recent hardships and from her family's addiction to their devices. She splurges on a weekend away at the Botanical Garden - a rare, green refuge in the heart of the city, where forests, streams and animals flourish. But when it becomes clear that the Garden is not the idyll she hoped it would be, and her children come under threat, May is forced to put her trust in a Hum of uncertain motives in order to restore the life of her family.

Gripping and unflinching, Hum is about our most cherished human relationships in a world compromised by climate change and dizzying technological revolution, a world with both dystopian and utopian possibilities.

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Helen Phillips is the author of six books, including the novel The Need, a National Book Award nominee and a New York Times Notable Book. She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers' Award, and the Calvino Prize in Fabulist Fiction. Her collection Some Possible Solutions received the John Gardner Fiction Book Award. Her novel The Beautiful Bureaucrat, a New York Times Notable Book, was a finalist for the New York Public Library’s Young Lions Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Her debut collection, And Yet They Were Happy, was named a notable collection by The Story Prize and was re-released in 2023. Her work has appeared in The Atlantic and the New York Times, and on Selected Shorts. A professor at Brooklyn College, she lives in Brooklyn with artist/cartoonist Adam Douglas Thompson and their children.

Photo Credit Andy Vernon Jones hi res
“Shakespeare is the happy hunting ground of all minds that have lost their balance.”
JAMES JOYCE, ULYSSES

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