Winner, sunburst award for excellence in canadian literature of the fantastic
finalist, neukom prize for speculative fiction
a book riot best book of 2018
In a tour-de-force tapestry of science fiction and historical fiction, Andromeda Romano-Lax presents a story set in Japan and Taiwan that spans a century of empire, conquest, progress and destruction.
2029: In Japan, a historically mono-cultural nation, childbirth rates are at an all-time low and the elderly are living increasingly longer lives. This population crisis has precipitated the mass immigration of foreign medical workers from all over Asia, as well as the development of finely tuned artificial intelligence to step in where humans fall short.
In Tokyo, Angelica Navarro, a Filipina nurse works as caretaker for Sayoko Itou, a moody, secretive woman about to turn 100 years old. When Sayoko receives a cutting-edge robot “friend” that will teach itself to anticipate Sayoko’s every need, Angelica fears for her livelihood. But more than a mere job is at stake, especially given the robot's preternatural ability to uncover the most deeply buried secrets of the humans around it.
PLUM RAINS is a hundred-year saga of forbidden love, hidden identities, the legacy of colonialism and the future of our relationships in a distracted and uncertain world.
In 1919, when she graduated from Vassar College with a degree in psychology, Rosalie Rayner took a coveted position at the Johns Hopkins research lab to assist charismatic John B. Watson, the man who pioneered behaviorist psychology. Together, Watson and Rayner conducted experiments on hundreds of babies to prove behaviorist principles of nurture over nature, including the controversial "Little Albert" study, in which they fear-conditioned an infant. Watson and Rayner also embarked on a scandalous affair that cost them their jobs and forever changed the trajectory of both pioneering psychologists' lives.
Both moving and occasionally disturbing, BEHAVE is a thought-provoking and compelling novel about science, progress, love, and the meaning of motherhood during the turbulent 1920s and '30s.
AN APRIL 2016 INDIE NEXT PICK
AN AMAZON BEST BOOK OF THE MONTH
PEOPLE MAGAZINE PICK: "RIVETING"
From history of behaviorism scholars
A fabulous novel that brings Rosalie Rayner to life, allowing us to sympathize with someone caught in the whirlwind of her times, as well as John Watson, a man cursed, condemned to forever run from his own emotions. Ms. Romano-Lax’s novel commendably sticks close to the available facts. Behave invites us to explore a lifetime of questions about science, ethics, motherhood, sexual attraction, and love.”
—Hall P. Beck, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology at Appalachian State University and author of Finding Little Albert
Of interest to anyone curious about Watson and the history of psychology. Andromeda Romano-Lax does well to place John B. Watson in the context of the conflict between eugenics and environmentalism, consciousness versus behaviorism, and the rise of advertising and consumer culture. She draws the reader in with details such as the nature of fear-based ad campaigns. She teaches behaviorism and does it well.
—Ben Harris, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology, University of New Hampshire
Set in 1938 Italy and Munich, The Detour enlarges upon themes introduced in Andromeda’s debut novel, including questions about the role of art – and the promise of love – in wartime.
Young art curator Ernst Vogler travels to Italy on what is supposed to be a brief assignment: escorting the famous Discus Thrower statue to Munich, where it has been purchased, controversially, by the German government. But from the first morning, when Vogler arrives at the museum too late to write his initial report, to a change in plans that requires transporting the ancient statue by road instead of by train, everything goes wrong. Traveling for five days across Italy, Vogler will try to fulfill his mission, confront demons in his own past, and discover – perhaps too late – lessons in friendship and passion. Set in 1938 and inspired by a historical event, the controversial sale of a real statue to Nazi Germany, one of the first steps in what became a seven-year looting campaign of the greatest art objects of Europe, The Detour is a novel about classical art and pre-World War II politics. It is also an exploration of the boundaries between loyalty and love, rigidity and spontaneity, stone and life.
Andromeda’s debut novel, The Spanish Bow (Harcourt, 2007): an epic novel about the clash of artistic ideals and 20th-century European politics, inspired by a love for Spain and classical music.
“I was almost born Happy.” So begins The Spanish Bow and the remarkable history of Feliu Delargo, who just misses being named “Feliz” by a misunderstanding at his birth, which he barely survives. The accidental bequest of a cello bow from his dead father sets Feliu on the course of becoming a musician, unlikely given his beginnings in a dusty village in Catalonia. When he is compelled to flee to anarchist Barcelona, his education in music, life, love, and politics begins.
The Spanish Bow is a haunting fugue of music, politics, and passion set against half a century of Spanish history, from the tail end of the nineteenth century up through the Spanish Civil War and World War II. Inspired by the life of Pablo Casals and with appearances by Pablo Picasso, Bertolt Brecht, and others who wrestled with the competing demands of art and conscience, The Spanish Bow is a deeply imagined tale of the passions that accident bestows– and the sacrifices history exacts.