An edgy and ambitious debut about neuroscience, death, and the search for the theory of human consciousness (timely in the age of chatGPT), by a powerful new voice in contemporary literary fiction.
THE REVELATIONS: A Novel
by Erik Hoel
The Overlook Press/Abrams, April 2021
Monday, Kierk wakes up. Once a rising star in neuroscience, Kierk Suren is now homeless, broken by his all-consuming quest to find a scientific theory of consciousness. But when he’s offered a spot in a prestigious postdoctoral program, he decides to rejoin society and vows not to self-destruct again. Instead of focusing on his work, however, Kierk becomes obsessed with another project—investigating the sudden and suspicious death of a colleague. As his search for truth brings him closer to Carmen Green, another postdoc, their list of suspects grows, along with the sense that something sinister may be happening all around them. THE REVELATIONS, not unlike its main character, is ambitious and abrasive, challenging and disarming. Bursting with ideas, ranging from Greek mythology to the dark realities of animal testing, to some of the biggest unanswered questions facing scientists today, THE REVELATIONS is written in muscular, hypnotic prose, and its cyclically dreamlike structure pushes the boundaries of literary fiction. Erik Hoel has crafted a stunning debut of rare power—an intense look at cutting-edge science, consciousness, and human connection.
Erik Hoel received his PhD in neuroscience from the University of Madison-Wisconsin. He is a research assistant professor at Tufts University and was previously a postdoctoral researcher at Columbia University in the NeuroTechnology Lab, and a visiting scholar at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. Hoel is a 2018 Forbes “30 under 30” for his neuroscientific research on consciousness and a Center for Fiction Emerging Writer Fellow. THE REVELATIONS is his debut novel. He lives in Massachusetts.