In Ascension (Paperback)

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In Ascension By Martin MacInnes Cover Image
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Staff Reviews

An incredible amalgam of literary fiction and sci-fi, In Ascension is the story of Leigh and her journey from abused child to budding young scientist to one of the principle figures planning the first manned expedition to the edge of our solar system. What is the connection between a recently discovered deep sea trench, a distant spaceship, and algal food crops? How will Leigh reconcile her lofty career ambitions with the pull of her fractured family's needs? This novel contains multitudes.

— Michael


LONGLISTED FOR THE 2023 BOOKER PRIZEA NEW YORKER BEST BOOK OF THE YEARAn astonishing novel about a young microbiologist
investigating an unfathomable deep vent in the ocean floor, leading her on a
journey that will encompass the full trajectory of the cosmos and the passage
of a single human life

Leigh grew up in Rotterdam, drawn to the waterfront as an
escape from her unhappy home life and volatile father. Enchanted by the
undersea world of her childhood, she excels in marine biology, traveling the
globe to study ancient organisms. When a trench is discovered in the Atlantic
ocean, Leigh joins the exploration team, hoping to find evidence of the earth's
first life forms - what she instead finds calls into question everything we
know about our own beginnings.
Her discovery leads Leigh to the Mojave desert and an ambitious new space
agency. Drawn deeper into the agency's work, she learns that the Atlantic
trench is only one of several related phenomena from across the world, each
piece linking up to suggest a pattern beyond human understanding. Leigh knows
that to continue working with the agency will mean leaving behind her declining
mother and her younger sister, and faces an impossible choice: to remain with
her family, or to embark on a journey across the breadth of the cosmos.
Exploring the natural world with the wonder and reverence we usually reserve
for the stars, In Ascension is a compassionate, deeply inquisitive
epic that reaches outward to confront the greatest questions of existence,
looks inward to illuminate the smallest details of the human heart, and shows
how - no matter how far away we might be and how much we have lost hope - we
will always attempt to return to the people and places we call home.

About the Author

Martin MacInnes lives in Edinburgh, Scotland. His debutnovel, Infinite Ground (2016), won the Somerset Maugham Award. His secondnovel, Gathering Evidence (2020), led to his inclusion in The National Centrefor Writing/British Council's list of ten writers shaping the UK's future. Histhird novel, In Ascension, was published in February 2023.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780802163462
ISBN-10: 0802163467
Publisher: Grove Press, Black Cat
Publication Date: February 27th, 2024
Pages: 512
Language: English