The Science of Herself: A Starred Publisher Weekly Review

The Science of Herself

Publishers Weekly
February 2014

Fowler (We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves) is best known for her novels, but these selections showcase her range and agility with briefer forms. Set in Lyme Regis, England, in 1814, “The Science of Herself” draws on the true story of Mary Anning and mixes it with the work and life of Jane Austen. An essay, “The Motherhood Statement,” calls for change in science fiction terminology and assumptions, and Fowler’s persuasive ideas on the amorphousness of motherhood are illuminated further in “The Pelican Bar,” set in a remarkably vivid, terrifying, and Atwood-esque boarding school run by the decidedly nonmaternal Mama Strong. In “The Further Adventures of the Invisible Man,” narrator Nathan deals with bullies; his single mother hardly notices. An informal interview conducted by Outspoken Authors series editor Terry Bisson serves as an entryway into Fowler’s mind, revealing her politics, sensibility, sense of humor, interests and influences, and approaches to writing and teaching. This is a must-own for diehard Fowler fans, and an ideal pocket-sized primer for the uninitiated. Agent: Molly Friedrich, Friedrich Agency.

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