It went well!
Such lovely people in the audience! Man, I wish I’d taken a pic of them.
A friend (Sylvia!) brought me an article on Jellyfish Dreaming in the Daily Hampshire Gazette I never would have seen otherwise:
Book Bag: ‘Jellyfish Dreaming’ by D.K. McCutchen; ‘Open Fire’ by Deborah Gorlin and ‘Memphis Shoals’ by Brad Crenshaw; ‘The Last language’ by Jennifer duBois
Published: 10/13/2023 1:47:18 PM
Modified: 10/13/2023 1:46:11 PM
By D.K. McCutchen
One reviewer calls its “a head trip like nothing you’ve read,” a story that weaves together many issues percolating today — climate change, genetics, gender, biology — “in such a way it’s impossible to miss how they were always all one thing to begin with.”
“Jellyfish Dreaming,” by D.K. McCutchen, is a post-apocalyptic, speculative novel that on one hand envisions a future world of seemingly unmitigated horror. For one thing, the oceans now “cough up jellyfish and plastic rubbish” and little else, and the human race — what’s left of it — subsists largely on a diet of jellyfish and kelp.
In fact, humans are starting to turn into jellyfish themselves — and they’ve become sterile.
Then’s there’s Jack, the central character of the novel, is a “200-year-old intersex street kid” who has a strange form of immortality, in which he changes back into a kid every time he reaches the cusp of adulthood.
Jack still has memories of things, like birds and frogs, that existed before environmental disasters destroyed the old world. That and the fact that he’s not sterile attracts the interest of some nearby university researchers, who believe Jack and some other orphaned survivors might be humanity’s last hope.
Love is still a part of life. But when Jack falls for Joon, one of the tough street kids who can choose their own gender, old bigotries erupt into violence, and Jack must scramble to protect those he loves from a madman and save a dying world. But at what cost?
D.K. McCutchen teaches writing for students in the University of Massachusetts Amherst College of Natural Sciences, and she’s also an associate director of the Junior Year Writing Program. She’s a UMass graduate as well.
McCutchen will come to Broadside Bookshop in Northampton on Oct. 17 at 7 p.m. to talk about the U.S. edition of her nonfiction book, “The Whale,” a narrative first published in New Zealand that recounts the author’s experience on a scientific expedition from Tahiti to New Zealand.