Pod: A Novel
*SHORTLISTED FOR THE WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION*
An astonishing and immersive new novel, Pod takes the reader into the depths of the ocean—and into the world of its fascinating inhabitants—through the eyes of the beautiful Ea, a spinner dolphin.
Laline Paull returns with an immersive and transformative new novel of an ocean world—its extraordinary creatures, mysteries, and mythologies—that is increasingly haunted by the cruelty and ignorance of the human race.
Ea has always felt like an outsider. As a spinner dolphin who has recently come of age, she's now expected to join in the elaborate rituals that unite her pod. But Ea suffers from a type of deafness that prevents her from mastering the art of spinning. When catastrophe befalls her family and Ea knows she is partly to blame, she decides to make the ultimate sacrifice and leave the pod.
As Ea ventures into the vast, she discovers dangers everywhere, from lurking predators to strange objects floating in the water. Not to mention the ocean itself seems to be changing; creatures are mutating, demonic noises pierce the depths, whole species of fish disappear into the sky above. Just as she is coming to terms with her solitude, a chance encounter with a group of arrogant bottlenoses will irrevocably alter the course of her life.
In her terrifying, propulsive novel, Laline Paull explores the true meaning of family, belonging, sacrifice—the harmony and tragedy of the pod—within an ocean that is no longer the sanctuary it once was, and which reflects a world all too recognizable to our own.
Praise for Pod: A Novel
"[Pod by Laline Paull] knocked my socks off. Fascinating."
— Barbara Kingsolver, Pulitzer Prize winning author of Demon Copperhead
"Rife with violence, darkness, and danger, Pod is compelling and high stakes, but also filled with a deep wonder and empathy for myriad lifeforms and lifeways of our oceans."
— Orion Magazine
“Laline Paul succeeds splendidly in rising to the most important literary challenge of our time—restoring voice and agency to other-than-human beings.”
— Amitav Ghosh, author of Sea of Poppies
“For those intrigued by Cli-Fi, a terrifying novel.”
Praise for Laline Paull's The Bees:
— Los Angeles Times
“Told with rapturously attentive imagination. Few novels create such a singular reading experience.”
— Emma Straub, The New York Times Book Review
“[A] gripping Cinderella/Arthurian tale with lush Keatsian adjectives.”
— Margaret Atwood, via Twitter
“It quickly became clear that in its basic facts, the novel sticks closely to real-world apian biology and behavior. That is fascinating enough, but Paull deftly wields this information to create an even more elaborately layered culture of beeness. Beautiful.”
— The Washington Post
“The Bees is an extraordinary feat of imagination, conjuring the life of a beehive in gripping, passionate and brilliant detail. With every page I turned, I found myself drawn deeper into Flora’s plight and her immersive, mesmerizing world.”
— Madeline Miller, New York Times bestselling author of The Song of Achilles