Invisible Beasts

Sharona Muir


International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award Longlist
Orion Book Award Finalist
O, The Oprah Magazine “Title to Pick Up Now”

“An amazing feat of imagination.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Invisible Beasts is a strange and beautiful meditation on love and seeing, a hybrid of fantasy and field guide, novel and essay, treatise and fable. With one hand it offers a sad commentary on environmental degradation, while with the other it presents a bright, whimsical, and funny exploration of what it means to be human. It’s wonderfully written, crazily imagined, and absolutely original.” —ANTHONY DOERR, author of All the Light We Cannot See and The Shell Collector

Sophie is an amateur naturalist with a rare genetic gift: the ability to see a marvelous kingdom of invisible, sentient creatures that share a vital relationship with humankind. To record her observations, Sophie creates a personal bestiary and, as she relates the strange abilities of these endangered beings, her tales become extraordinary meditations on love, sex, evolution, extinction, truth, and self-knowledge.

In the tradition of E.O. Wilson’s Anthill, Invisible Beasts is inspiring, philosophical, and richly detailed fiction grounded by scientific fact and a profound insight into nature. The fantastic creations within its pages—an ancient animal that uses natural cold fusion for energy, a species of vampire bat that can hear when their human host is lying, a continent-sized sponge living under the ice of Antarctica—illuminate the role that all living creatures play in the environment and remind us of what we stand to lose if we fail to recognize our entwined destinies.

Sharona Muir is the author of The Book of Telling: Tracing the Secrets of My Father’s Lives. The recipient of a Hodder Fellowship and National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, her writing has appeared in Granta, Orion magazine, Virginia Quarterly Review, The Paris Review, and elsewhere. She is a Professor of Creative Writing and English at Bowling Green State University. Invisible Beasts is her first novel.

Show sample text content

Download sample