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Some time in the near future, university lecturer Caspar receives a gift from a former student called Liv: a memory stick containing a virtual narrative. Hooked up to a virtual reality bodysuit, he becomes immersed in the experience of their past sexual relationship. But this time it is her experience. What was for him an erotic interlude, resonant with the thrill of seduction, was very different for her - and when he has lived it, he will understand how.
A convicted paedophile recruited to Liv’s experiment in collective consciousness discovers a way to escape from his own desolation.
A synthetic boy, designed by Liv’s team to ‘love’ men who desire adolescents, begins to question the terms of his existence.
L, in transition to a state beyond gender, befriends Liv, in transition to a state beyond age.
Liv herself has finally transcended the corporeal - but there is still the problem of love.
An Uncertain Grace is a novel in five parts by one of Australia’s most inventive and provocative writers. Moving, thoughtful, sometimes playful, it is about who we are - our best and worst selves, our innermost selves - and who we might become.
About the Author
Krissy Kneen is the award-winning author of the memoir Affection (Text Publishing Australia 2009 and Seal Press USA 2010) which was shortlisted for the Qld Premier's Literary Award in the non-fiction category, and the 2010 ABIA awards for Biography, Triptych: An Erotic Adventure (Text 2011) and the literary fiction novel Steeplechase (Text 2013). In 2014 she won the prestigious Thomas Shapcott award for poetry for her collection, Eating My Grandmother. Her novel Holly's Incredible Adventures in the Sex Machine will also be published by Text in 2015. She has written and directed short films and broadcast documentaries for SBS and ABC television and has had short stories published in literary journals, books and magazines including Griffith Review, Kill Your Darlings, Nerve.com, The Big Issue, Best Women's Erotica 2014, Women of Letters and The Lifted Brow.
Time. Something odd has happened to it. It has taken on physical form. Time rubs up against me like an invisible film, like Glad Wrap but the whole roll of it goes on and on forever. There is so much plastic wrap stretching out behind me, and in front of me, an age of it. I feel like I am trapped under an invisible film, staring out, perfectly preserved"
An Uncertain Grace is the sixth book by Australian poet, television director and author, Krissy Kneen. It consists of five separate short stories, each of which is narrated by a different person; all are loosely linked by certain themes and by the last narrator, who has a role in the first four stories. This is erotic fiction, and sex is a prominent feature of each story, so readers should be prepared for explicit descriptions. Advances in technology, medicine and surgery, as well as a flooded state capital, anchor the stories firmly in some future time.
Kneen's tales are original and very imaginative: a (lecherous) university lecturer whose former student (and lover) sends him a memoir with a difference, one from which he experiences their relationship from her perspective; a sex offender undergoing experimental treatment to change the nature of his desires; an android boy created solely to study paedophile tendencies; a young woman in the process of transforming into an ungendered state; and an old woman whose consciousness is electronically captured when her body finally fails, exploring a new relationship.
Kneen's descriptive prose is gorgeous; her stories are clever and interesting; her speculation on the future state is, despite the jellyfish, not the least bit whacky, but instead, quite credible. Kneen's latest oeuvre is creative, a bit provocative and definitely thought-provoking.
An Uncertain Grace
`Krissy Kneen's An Uncertain Grace shows a writer taking transformative bounds in the story she tells-interlinked iterations of the future woven with science and poetry of desire, sentience and, sometimes, jellyfish-and the beauty of its words.' -- Ashley Hay * Australian, Books of the Year 2017 * `Krissy Kneen's thoughtful and futuristic, at times creepy, at times incredibly sexy interlinked short stories in An Uncertain Grace kept me thinking.' * Favourite Reads of 2017 * `An Uncertain Grace is a strange, daring and clever novel and Kneen's openness to connections that many other novelists never dream of making is exhilarating.' * Sydney Review of Books * `A layered and complex and beautifully written novel that never flinches from the difficult topics it tackles.' * Hysterical Hamster * `Krissy Kneen's latest novel, An Uncertain Grace, blew me away. Kneen's prose is luminescent, and in this book I felt like I was learning so much. This book has elements of speculative fiction and erotica to it. Even though these are two genres in fiction that are generally seen as being acquired tastes, I think this is a book that everybody should read. It is tender, exciting and wildly imaginative.' * Readings * `One of the most radical and insightful writers working in Australian letters today...Just read this. You won't regret it.' * Overland * `This is speculative fiction that twines science fiction with erotica with philosophical questions of gender and sex, but the scope of Kneen's ambition and talent makes any such description seem terribly reductive...Kneen's imaginative leap towards a transhuman world is endlessly curious and inventive, provocative and inspiring.' * Sydney Morning Herald * `A story in which science offers creepy solutions for unmanageable problems. This book requires a ghost-story warning: it will unsettle...A beautiful, dark read.' * Listener * `Krissy Kneen is a writer you may not hear mentioned constantly, but she's one of Australia's most gifted storytellers. Unflinchingly willing to explore the darker hearts and desires, she's an often confronting Australian erotica writer with a knack for bypassing the standard titillating fare to get to the heart of human wanting...A reasoned, emotive, and highly compelling exploration of what it means to be human, and the humanity of love, desire, and sex.' * Hush Hush Biz * `Highly unusual, very ambitious...but I think Krissy Kneen achieves it.' Radio New Zealand * Radio New Zealand * `Such fantastical feats of Kneen's fertile imagination are not only bedded in a convincing future reality of extreme weather and drastically diminished species but blessed with engagingly lively and varied characters. Their circumstances, typified by the unusual fluidity of the personal pronouns, are often deeply and inventively strange, yet utterly convincing.' * SA Weekend * `Folding sensitive threads of erotica into mind-bending speculative fiction, Krissy Kneen's latest novel is an ambitious genre hybrid that addresses both morality and mortality from unique vantage points...She proceeds with sensitivity, sincerity and, most of all, curiosity...With its page-turning clarity, her writing is as compassionate and empowering as it is edgy and provocative. In the end, her characters are striving for the same things that any of us are.' * Australian * `This novel questions what it will mean to be human when we are able to be more than human-to be plural, genderless, or living the experiences of someone else through a digital narrative. With An Uncertain Grace, Kneen has given us something that is at once intensely affecting, entertaining, and hugely fascinating.' * Readings * `An Uncertain Grace is a highly provocative read that masterfully offers thoughtful speculation on the future of technology, memory and sexuality.' * Books+Publishing * `Innovative and provocative...a virtual reality suit, sex, life, and the technological postponement of death.' * Australian * `Haunting and wonderful.' * My Cup and Chaucer * `It's a rare book that seems to drift like smoke away from the printed page to rewrite the physical world...[Kneen] wants us to strip naked and be transformed.' * Melbourne Review of Books * `One of Australia's most accomplished sex writers.' * Books+Publishing *
ISBN: 9781925355987 ISBN-10: 1925355985 Audience:
Number Of Pages: 256 Published: 27th February 2017 Publisher: Text Publishing Co Country of Publication: AU Dimensions (cm): 23.3 x 15.4
Weight (kg): 0.33