Preorder your signed copies of Stamped from the Beginning: A Graphic History of Racist Ideas in America,
by author Ibram X. Kendi and illustrator Joel Christian Gill online-only here!
Complex, philosophically searching, and gorgeously rendered, Rebekah Bergman’s The Museum of Human History is a sharp and startling debut about a young girl frozen in time in a world obsessed with youth and self-preservation.
After nearly drowning, eight-year-old Maeve Wilhelm falls into a strange comatose state. As years pass, it becomes clear that Maeve is not physically aging. A wide cast of characters finds themselves pulled toward Maeve, each believing that her mysterious “sleep” holds the answers to their life’s most pressing questions: Kevin Marks, a museum owner obsessed with preservation; Monique Gray, a refugee and performance artist; Lionel Wilhelm, an entomologist who dreamed of being an astrophysicist; and Evangeline Wilhelm, Maeve’s identical twin. As Maeve remains asleep, the characters grapple with a mysterious new technology and medical advances that promise to ease anxiety and end pain, but instead cause devastating side effects.
Weaving together speculative elements and classic fables, and exploring urgent issues from the opioid epidemic to the hazards of biotech to the obsession with self-improvement and remaining forever young, Rebekah Bergman’s The Museum of Human History is a brilliant and fascinating novel about how time shapes us, asking what—if anything—we would be without it.
Rebekah Bergman’s fiction has been published in Joyland, Tin House, The Masters Review Anthology, and other journals. She lives in Rhode Island with her family.
Moderator Annie Hartnett is the author of novels Rabbit Cake (Tin House Books, 2017) and Unlikely Animals (Ballantine/Random House, 2022). She lives in Massachusetts with her husband, daughter, and dog.
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