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The Unseen World: A Novel (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

The Unseen World by Liz Moore is a page-turner about identity, artificial intelligence, and a mystery left to Ada by her computer scientist father. This is a riveting read with deeply compelling characters.

— Rachel Watkins


From the New York Times bestselling author of Long Bright River: The moving story of a daughter’s quest to discover the truth about her beloved father’s hidden past.

Ada Sibelius is raised by David, her brilliant, eccentric, socially inept single father, who directs a computer science lab in 1980s-era Boston. Home-schooled, Ada accompanies David to work every day; by twelve, she is a painfully shy prodigy. The lab begins to gain acclaim at the same time that David’s mysterious history comes into question. When his mind begins to falter, leaving Ada virtually an orphan, she is taken in by one of David’s colleagues. Soon she embarks on a mission to uncover her father’s secrets: a process that carries her from childhood to adulthood. What Ada discovers on her journey into a virtual universe will keep the reader riveted until The Unseen World’s heart-stopping, fascinating conclusion.

About the Author

Liz Moore is the author of the acclaimed novel Heft. A winner of the 2014 Rome Prize in Literature, she lives in Philadelphia.

Praise For…

Enthralling….An elegant and ethereal novel about identity and the dawn of artificial intelligence, and a convincing interior portrait of a young woman.
— Washington Post

[A] captivating new page-turner, The Unseen World is a wry, gentle coming-of-age story and an intriguing glimpse into the development of artificial intelligence and virtual reality, both early on and as envisioned for the future. It is also an incisive, insightful, and compassionate examination of the complexities of family and identity.

— Boston Globe

Fiercely intelligent....Moore evocatively renders the remoteness of even our closest loved ones.
— New York Times Book Review

A carefully crafted digital mystery.
— Dallas Morning News

I was so thoroughly engaged with The Unseen World. What a wonderful, fulfilling, riveting read, alive with complex characters, a thrilling story, wit, and, above all, a deep sense of compassion.

— Jami Attenberg, author of All This Could Be Yours

I absolutely love this wise, compassionate novel that challenges our definitions of family, of intelligence, and of love. Equal parts cerebral and heartbreaking, The Unseen World is utterly compelling, and its heroine Ada Sibelius is irresistible in all her thorny vulnerability. Liz Moore has given us a masterful version of our own modern condition, and I cannot wait to place this book in the hands of my most ardent reader friends.

— Robin Black, author of Life Drawing

The Unseen World is a compelling read with vibrant, finely constructed characters. Moore intertwines a complex coming of age story with the science of cryptology and the history of artificial intelligence, while simultaneously exploring the meaning of love, loss and belonging. . . Elements of mystery and suspense keep you turning the pages in this multi-layered gem of a book.

— LibraryReads

In sparse, urgent prose, Liz Moore delivers a staggeringly beautiful meditation on love, legacy, and the emotional necessities that make life worth living. That lump in your throat? You won’t quite know how it got there—nor believe how long it will stick around once the final page is turned.
— Téa Obreht, author of The Tiger’s Wife

From the first page to the last, The Unseen World held me spellbound. I am Liz Moore’s biggest fan, and after you read her new surprising, big-hearted novel you will be too.

— Ann Hood, author of The Obituary Writer

The Unseen World is a deeply compelling novel about the intimate mystery of family. The story of how the brilliant Ada decodes the past and grapples with her eccentric father’s legacy is gripping, touching, and wonderfully intelligent.

— Dana Spiotta, author of Stone Arabia

Beautiful, redemptive, and utterly devastating. The kind of world I want to live in would be penned by Liz Moore.
— Alex Gilvarry, author of From the Memoirs of a Non-Enemy Combatant
Product Details
ISBN: 9780393354416
ISBN-10: 0393354415
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Publication Date: June 13th, 2017
Pages: 464
Language: English