Hello and welcome to my blog tour post for
YOUR ONE AND ONLY by Adrianne Finlay!
I have a Guest Post for you today about Ursula K. LeGuin written by Adrianne that I think you are all going to love. Plus there is a giveaway at the bottom for one of three copies of the book. But first, let's learn more about the novel...
YOUR ONE AND ONLYAuthor: Adrianne Finlay
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: February 6, 2018
Jack is a walking fossil. The only human among a sea of clones. It’s been hundreds of years since humanity died off in the slow plague, leaving the clones behind to carry on human existence. Over time they’ve perfected their genes, moving further away from the imperfections of humanity. But if they really are perfect, why did they create Jack?
While Jack longs for acceptance, Althea-310 struggles with the feeling that she’s different from her sisters. Her fascination with Jack doesn’t help. As Althea and Jack’s connection grows stronger, so does the threat to their lives. What will happen if they do the unthinkable and fall in love?
“The use of imaginative fiction is to deepen your understanding of your world, and your fellow men, and your own feelings, and your destiny.”
--Ursula K. LeGuin
What I love most about storytelling, especially in science fiction, is that it offers us an opportunity to engage with contemporary problems and concerns. Escaping into a world of spaceships and far-flung planets, a future of robots and aliens and clones, science fiction opens up an exploration of fundamental ideas in our culture, often leading to the reshaping and subverting of dominant assumptions and expectations. In Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, we confront our convictions about gender, power, and bodily autonomy; in Orwell’s 1984 and Huxley’s Brave New World, the dangers of totalitarianism; in LeGuin’s Left Hand of Darkness, the cultural constraints of gender.
As I write this, we’ve just learned of the death of Ursula K. LeGuin, renowned for her tough-minded feminist sensibility and imaginative reworking of science-fiction themes. She has been a profound influence on my own writing, in particular her compassion and empathy and her examination of what it means to be human. That theme is woven throughout Your One & Only.
Jack is the first new human created in centuries in a world populated by only nine clone models. The clones, through genetic manipulation and lack of diversity, have lost their sense of creation, art, and imagination. Jack spends his time reading novels, and when Althea-310 tries to read Jack London’s The Call of the Wild, she becomes confused and even a bit angry. She sees such stories as a waste of time, mere fantasies and lies. Jack, however, tells her that words on a page need not be real or factual to be true. He thereby encapsulates what LeGuin calls “the uses of the imagination,” that which lets tales about dragons and hobbits and unicorns tell us who we are and why we exist.
The clones in Your One & Only have lost their ability to imagine—to visualize a world they’ve never seen, to tell the story of a made-up event, or to conceive of a person who isn’t just like them. Jack is human, and the clones lack humanity, precisely because Jack has imagination, and the clones do not. They cannot care about the pain or suffering of another, because they cannot intuit, cannot feel, that pain or suffering. As humans, we work to foster empathy by considering the feelings of others, and it is our imagination that gives us that capacity.
On the cover of my book is a quotation from Kirkus Reviews: “Like the works of Ursula K. LeGuin, inside this lyrically written, suspenseful tale is a deeply humane thematic core.” I’m humbled by the comparison, and also proud that her influence is clear in my work. I don’t know if Ursula K. LeGuin would ever have found the time or interest to read Your One & Only, but I like to think that she would have seen that I learned a great deal from her.
I received my PhD in literature and creative writing from Binghamton University. Originally from Ithaca, New York, I now live in Cedar Falls, Iowa with my husband, the poet J. D. Schraffenberger, and our two young daughters. I'm an associate professor of English at Upper Iowa University in Fayette, Iowa and the Program Director of Creative Writing. I teach creative writing, composition, and literature classes. One of the really fun classes I teach is Adolescent Lit, where we read some of my favorite authors: Lois Lowry, S.E. Hinton, Robert Cormier, Laurie Halse Anderson, Walter Dean Myers. I change this list up a lot by adding new releases and various titles just to keep things interesting. Because I don't have enough to do (ha ha), I also make soap, lotion, and lip balm with my partner Rachel under the name Semisweet Soaps. We sell our products locally, raising money for Type 1 diabetes research.
Editor: Lily Kessinger, HMH
Represented by: Adam Schear, Defiore & Co.
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