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304 pages, Hardcover
First published February 20, 2018
“The idea that we’re not the end of a line but a continuum is a universal one. Every human culture, throughout history, has built itself on the foundations of the cultures that came before it. Civilizations don’t just spring up sui generis, out of nothing. They are carried forward. They are built with our grandfathers’ and grandmothers’ bricks. That’s poetic, but you get what I mean. We are nothing without our pasts.”
Her mind was changing so quickly. With every new memory that appeared, it felt as through new neural networks had been formed. Synaptic connections that had lain dormant since birth suddenly thrummed with electrochemical life. Neurohormones that had drifted aimlessly in the intracerebral space found themselves drawn, like iron shavings, to the magnetic pull of newly awakened nerve cells. The feeling was like a neural thunderstorm, every burst of synaptic energy a bolt of lightning. And with each new image came a new emotion. Even the slightest recollection added to the density of her thoughts.
Brandon’s smile hit Kojo like a meteor every time he saw it. All the horrible things that had passed before his eyes, the memories that woke him screaming—the dead woman with her legs eaten to nubs by rats, the child with his hands nailed to the dinner table, the unidentifiable drowning victim with skin that sloughed off like sheets of phyllo dough—all dissolved instantly. Kojo could never envision living without that smile. While the woodworking was an effective salve for existential worries, Brandon’s smile was the only true cure for Kojo’s world-weariness.