Winner of the 2019 Wellcome Book Prize
Winner of the 2019 Republic of Consciousness Prize
Shortlisted for the 2018 Goldsmiths Prize
Shortlisted for the 2019 James Tait Black Prize
Longlisted for the 2019 Rathbones Folio Prize
Taking its cue from the arrest and legally enforced chemical castration of the mathematician Alan Turing, Murmur is the account of a man who responds to intolerable physical and mental stress with love, honour and a rigorous, unsentimental curiosity about the ways in which we perceive ourselves and the world.
Formally audacious, daring in its intellectual inquiry and unwaveringly humane, Will Eaves’s Murmur is a rare achievement.
Eaves (The Oversight) delivers an exquisite novel inspired by Alan Turing's brilliant mind and troubled life. Alec Pryor, a gifted genius during WWII, has been found guilty of homosexuality, and he must endure chemical castration along with uncertainties as to his place in society. These circumstances do not inhibit his scientific mind, but rather expand it to explorations of consciousness, time, dreams, and existence. Through letters, a journal, thought, and interactions, Alec questions everything with a thinker's perspective, including family, his past love with Christopher Molyneaux, conversations with his therapist Dr. Stallbrook, and a marriage proposal to June, a fellow mathematician and close friend. Alec tries to tolerate the pain and misery of his fate as a brilliant man who is a "sexual menace," and he continues his sensitive work on solving the Enigma code, but it's difficult for him to fit in. All that's left to him is to reflect; as June writes in a letter to him, "the thinking is the work, and the trick is to catch it on the wing." This novel will submerge readers in contemplation and dazzling prose as it captures the essence of mind and matter.