How to Be Human (Hardcover)
Another (!) story of the life of a lonely woman rebounding from a controlling relationship. However, this particular heroine befriends...a FOX...who wanders into her garden, and seems to be communicating with her. We are taken into the mind of the animal, where the author speaks in the way animals might, in lovely, alliterative little fragments describing its sense experiences, and memories, and really, people, this stuff ought to be VERSE. Fox and woman grow closer, the animal brings her little gifts, she discovers strengths she never knew she had and the neighbors begin to worry. but really, it is THEIR lives that are unraveling... I will be recommending this book to everyone, but especially to those of you who liked H is for Hawk.— Georgeann
From Guardian writer Paula Cocozza, a debut novel of the breakdown of a marriage, suburbian claustrophobia, and a woman's unseemly passion for a fox
One summer's night, Mary comes home from a midnight ramble to find a baby lying on her back door step. Has Mary stolen the baby from next door? Has the baby's mother, Mary's neighbor, left her there in her acute state of post-natal depression? Or was the baby brought to Mary as a gift by the fox who is increasingly coming to dominate her life?
So opens How to Be Human, a novel set in a London suburb beset by urban foxes. On leave from work, unsettled by the proximity of her ex, and struggling with her hostile neighbors, Mary has become increasingly captivated by a magnificent fox who is always in her garden. First she sees him wink at her, then he brings her presents, and finally she invites him into her house. As the boundaries between the domestic and the wild blur, and the neighbors set out to exterminate the fox, it is unclear if Mary will save the fox, or the fox save Mary.
In this masterful debut, Paula Cocozza weaves together a penetrating portrait of marital breakdown, a social novel of wit and nuance, and an obsessive love story that crosses new boundaries.
About the Author
Paula Cocozza is a staff feature writer at The Guardian and has covered everything from soccer to fashion to fourth-wave feminism. Her writing, which has also appeared in Vogue, the Telegraph, the Independent, and the TLS, received the 2013 David Higham Award. Paula lives in London with her husband, two children, and a garden full of foxes. How to Be Human is her first novel.