Sarah Tolmie’s The Little Animals

SF Canada member Sarah Tolmie has recently released a new novel, The Little Animals.

Antoni van Leeuwenhoek, a quiet linen draper in Delft, has discovered a new world: the world of the little animals, or animalcules, that he sees through his simple microscopes. These tiny creatures are everywhere, even inside us. But who will believe him? Not his wife, not his neighbours, not his fellow merchants—only his friend Reinier De Graaf, a medical doctor. Then he meets an itinerant goose girl at the market who lives surrounded by tiny, invisible voices. Are these the animalcules also? Leeuwenhoek and the girl form a curious alliance, and gradually the lives of the little animals infiltrate everything around them: Leeuwenhoek’s cloth business, the art of his friend Johannes Vermeer, the nascent sex trade, and people’s religious certainties. But Leeuwenhoek also needs to cement his reputation as a natural philosopher, and for that he needs the Royal Society of London—a daunting challenge, indeed, for a Dutch draper who can’t communicate in Latin.

Publishers Weekly’s starred review says:

Tolmie intricately weaves together the best of historical and weird fiction in this delicate tale of science and miracles…Tolmie balances careful characterization with rich historical detail, subtle humor, and energetic prose. Her central characters are suffused with color, and her prose captures the joys and uncertainties of life-changing discoveries. This delightful novel is not to be missed.

The Little Animals is available in trade paperback and ebook from
Aqueduct Press and its partner bookstores and distributors
amazon.com/amazon.ca
Barnes & Noble

And Sarah has more exciting news! She was recently one of seven finalists for Canada’s Griffin Poetry Prize, one of Canada’s most prestigious literary awards. Sarah’s The Art of Dying, published by McGill-Queen’s University Press, was praised by the jury as a “multifaceted meditation on mortality beneath its deceptively simple lyric surface.” The author herself was singled out as an “irreverent feminist” in the tradition of Dorothy Parker and Stevie Smith. “The Art of Dying” is available through McGill-Queen’s University Press , Indigo, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.

And even more news! Sarah’s poem, “Ursula Le Guin in the Underworld” (On Spec issue 107 vol 28.4) is nominated for the Aurora Award in the Best Poem/Song category. Find out how to vote here.

Sarah is an Associate Professor in the English Department of the University of Waterloo. She received her PhD at Cambridge. Her work with virtual reality and dance explores links between movement and proprioception the body’s sense of itself and its limits in space and narrative and poetic structures and pathways.

Find more of Sarah’s poetry and fiction at her website.

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