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A radical love story for right now, from 'one of the most gifted writers working today' (New York Times)

From 'one of the most gifted writers working today' (New York Times) comes an audacious new novel about love and lust in life and the afterlife.

On the rain-swept shores of Lake Geneva in 1815, nineteen-year-old Mary Shelley writes a story about creating artificial human life that will resonate through the centuries. In post-Brexit Britain, a young transgender doctor called Ry is falling in love – against their better judgement – with Victor Stein, a celebrated professor leading the public debate around AI. Meanwhile, Ron Lord, a businessman on a mission to redistribute sex, is set to make his fortune launching a new generation of sex dolls produced for mass-market consumption. And across the Atlantic, in Phoenix, Arizona, a cryogenics facility houses dozens of bodies of men and women who are medically and legally dead, but waiting to come back to life.

Funny and furious, bold and clear-sighted, Frankissstein sees Jeanette Winterson take on identity, technology and sexuality to breathe new life into Mary Shelley’s classic horror story. Told in part through Shelley’s eyes as she dreams up her monstrous creation, Winterson launches us into a modern-day nightmare where consumerism and politics are set to bring humanity to breaking point. Spanning three centuries and multiple narratives, Frankissstein is at once a moving love story and a feminist rallying cry for our times.

Reviews

Winterson reboots Mary Shelley's Frankenstein for the 21st Century, launching us into a hold-on-to-your hat modern-day horror story about very modern-day neuroses and issues.

Rebecca Thomas, BBC News

Yes, the book we have all been waiting for. Yes, everything Winterson has always done so well. Yes, above and beyond anything that is yet to be written.

Daisy Johnson

Frankissstein shares with its source text an intricate narrative structure and a preoccupation with both the origins of life and the things that make life worth living. It is no pale imitation though. This is a riotous reimagining with an energy and passion all of its own that reanimates Frankenstein as a cautionary tale for a contemporary moment dominated by debates about Brexit, gender, artificial intelligence and medical experimentation… While the story has a gripping momentum of its own, it also fizzes with ideas.

Daisy Hay, Financial Times

Astonishing. Bold. Teeming with wit and intellectual prowess. Winterson is a literary giant. She remains one of my favourite writers.

Irenosen Okojie

Frankissstein shares with its source text an intricate narrative structure and a preoccupation with both the origins of life and the things that make life worth living. It is no pale imitation though. This is a riotous reimagining with an energy and passion all of its own that reanimates Frankenstein as a cautionary tale for a contemporary moment dominated by debates about Brexit, gender, artificial intelligence and medical experimentation… While the story has a gripping momentum of its own, it also fizzes with ideas.

Daisy Hay, Financial Times

Intelligent and inventive… Frankisstein is very funny. There has always been a fine line between horror and high camp, and this is a boundary that Winterson gleefully exploits.

Robert Douglas-Fairhurst, The Times

Refreshingly, Jeanette Winterson’s Frankisstein…is a wildly inventive reimagining of one of science fiction’s most beloved stories… lyrical, gloriously raunchy, pulpy and absurd.

Helen Marshall, New Scientist

A surge of inventiveness… Frankissstein is a book that seeks to shift our perspective on humanity and the purpose of being human in the most darkly entertaining way… gloriously well observed.

Johanna Thomas-Corr, Observer, Book of the Day

Winterson writes in many forms then, but always with complete verve and disarming self-confidence… readers are in deft hands with Winterson. It helps that it’s a lighter read than you might expect: the schlocky history of Frankenstein and its many film spin-offs have given her permission to have some fun. And the sex robot business is truly hilarious.

AN Devers, Prospect

A clever comic romp that teases at the nature — and future — of life, death and what it is to be human, without ever being ponderous… [Frankissstein is] first-rate.

Daily Mail

Funny and philosophical… This is a love story about life itself from a gifted writer.

Psychologies

A deeply pertinent engagement with hybridity. Here, hard science and dreamy Romanticism exist in both tension and harmony… Frankisstein abounds with invention… this is a work of both pleasure and profundity, robustly and skilfully structured, and suffused with all Winterson’s usual preoccupations – gender, language, sexuality, the limits of individual liberty and the life of ideas.

Sam Byers, Guardain, *Book of the Week*

A surprisingly funny novel… [and] characters…[are] well-rounded, with unexpected layers.

Rhian Drinkwater, SFX

Highly satisfying.

Claire Allfree, Daily Telegraph

Winterson’s witty and imaginatively plotted novel is a dizzying tour of future possibilities… Timely and thought-provoking, Frankisstein raises questions about the role of out bodies, the future of relationships, and, ultimately what it means to be human.

Anna Matthews, Diva

Shot through with references from Emily Dickinson, Shakespeare and TS Eliot, Winterson’s latest offering has a flavour of classical legend. She makes the world afresh, whole emphasising the human need for super-human figure and god-like intelligence is eternal.

Daily Express

An essential read for now.

Marta Bausells, ELLE

Winterson always pushes boundaries with her writing and this novel is no different.

Joanne Finney, Good Housekeeping

Winterson’s bold novel asks old questions about the body’s possibilities in a provocative new way.

Sharmaine Lovegrove, Sunday Times

Playfully allusive and relentlessly readable, it’s a book so wild and fizzing with ideas you feel it might actually pop.

Anthony Cummins, Metro

Playful and inventive… There is a merged ocean of thought with [Frankisstein]; ideas slip between characters and time frames. Frankisstein reincarnates as it evolves, each part deepening the part before it.

Rozalind Dineen, Times Literary Supplement

A weird and engaging and extremely funny take on Shelley’s classic… The book seeks to shift our perspective on humanity, I think, and the purpose of being… Technology today is allowing us to shape our notions of sex and gender; tomorrow, it will shape our end.

Judie Bindel, UnHerd

I'm awestruck, as always, by Jeanette Winterson…. Frankissstein…is a dazzlingly bonkers reworking of Mary Shelley's classic Frankenstein, featuring artificial intelligence, sex robots and sci-fi experiments.

Laura Bailey, Vogue

Frankisstein leaps from the Peterloo Massacre to contemporary bioethical speculation to nineteenth-century Bedlam to early computers, its eager, passionately clever narrator always plunging enthusiastically ahead, like the mysterious giant figure Mary Shelley glimpsed racing across that icy glacier.

Michèle Roberts, Tablet, *Book of the Week*

An oft-moving, oft-hilarious retelling of Shelley’s much-retold classic.

Maria Crawford, Financial Times, *Summer Reads of 2019*

Winterson teases away at…boundaries – between genders, life and death, fact and fiction, human and machine – to great, and hugely entertaining effect.

Daily Mail, *Summer reads of 2019*

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Formats & editions

  • Trade Paperback

    9781787331419

    May 21, 2019

    Jonathan Cape

    352 pages

    RRP $35.00

    Online retailers

    • Mighty Ape
    • Paper Plus
    • The Warehouse
    • Whitcoulls
    • Fishpond
    • The Nile
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.co.nz

  • Frankissstein

    Paperback

    9781784709952

    January 7, 2020

    Vintage

    260 pages

    Online retailers

    • Mighty Ape
    • Paper Plus
    • The Warehouse
    • Whitcoulls
    • Fishpond
    • The Nile
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.co.nz

  • Hardback

    9781787331402

    May 21, 2019

    Jonathan Cape

    352 pages

    RRP $37.00

    Online retailers

    • Mighty Ape
    • Paper Plus
    • The Warehouse
    • Whitcoulls
    • Fishpond
    • The Nile
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.co.nz

  • EBook

    9781473563254

    May 23, 2019

    Vintage Digital

    352 pages

    Online retailers

    • Amazon Kindle NZ
    • iBooks NZ
    • Google Play EBook NZ
    • Kobo Ebook
    • Booktopia NZ

Extract

Lake Geneva, 1816

Reality is water-soluble.

What we could see, the rocks, the shore, the trees, the boats on the lake, had lost their usual definition and blurred into the long grey of a week’s rain. Even the house, that we fancied was made of stone, wavered inside a heavy mist and through that mist, sometimes, a door or a window appeared like an image in a dream.

Every solid thing had dissolved into its watery equivalent.

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