Can a daughter's love piece her father's life back together?
Boston, USA 1980: Ada Sibelius is twelve-years old and lives with her father David, a computer science Professor who is one of the most highly regarded academics in his field. Ada is home-schooled: surrounded by her father's colleagues in the lab, her days are spent with brilliant minds, her childhood idiosyncratic yet idyllic. That is until David begins to forget things. At first he can't remember the punchlines to his favourite jokes but soon he is disappearing from home for days on end with no memory of how he spent his time.
Diagnosed with Alzheimer's, Ada's close bond with her father is shattered within an instant and she must navigate her teenage years without her father's guidance. When David leaves a floppy disk for his beloved daughter, Ada has no idea that the coding within it holds the key to his past life. It was a life that he refused to talk about. It's a life that Ada will spend years piecing back together, rebuilding the father she lost.
Liz Moore is a writer, musician and teacher. Her debut novel, The Words of Every Song, was published in 2007. Her second novel, Heft, was published in 2012 and was awarded the Rome Prize in Literature. She lives in Philadelphia.
"In sparse, urgent prose, Liz Moore delivers a staggeringly beautiful meditation on love, legacy, and the emotional necessities that make life worth living.
That lump in your throat? You won't quite know how it got there?nor believe how long it will stick around once the final page is turned."
Tea Obreht, author of The Tiger's Wife
"I was so thoroughly engaged with The Unseen World. What a wonderful, fulfilling, riveting read, alive with complex characters, a thrilling story, wit, and, above all, a deep sense of compassion."
Jami Attenberg, author of Saint Mazie
"Fiercely intelligent....Moore evocatively renders the remoteness of even our closest loved ones"
New York Times Book Review
"A cerebral, page-turning thriller . an elegant and ethereal novel about identity and the dawn of artificial intelligence, and a convincing interior portrait of a young woman."
"[A] captivating page-turner . a wry, gentle coming-of-age story and an intriguing glimpse into the development of artificial intelligence and virtual reality . It is also an incisive, insightful, and compassionate examination of the complexities of family and identity"
"I absolutely love this wise, compassionate novel that challenges our definitions of family, of intelligence, and of love. Equal parts cerebral and heartbreaking, The Unseen World is utterly compelling, and its heroine Ada Sibelius is irresistible in all her thorny vulnerability. Liz Moore has given us a masterful version of our own modern condition, and I cannot wait to place this book in the hands of my most ardent reader friends."
Robin Black, author of Life Drawing