Horn, Dara

Tagged: Author

(1977-    ) US journalist and author whose first several novels comprise a set of nonfantastic explorations of the nature of Jewish life in Europe and America over the past century and a half; the explicit seriousness of this project is leavened in the event through pleasurable narrative ingenuities, and thriller-like plots. The intersecting stories making up her fourth novel, A Guide for the Perplexed (2014), are variously linked to the mediaeval Jewish philosopher Moses Maimonides (1135-1204), whose most famous work is Guide for the Perplexed (written circa 1190), an attempt to reconcile two strands of thought and existence: Jewish theology and secular philosophy. The novel itself is of sf interest in sections devoted to the contemporary Invention by Josie Ashkenazi of a Computer software programme capable of registering the entirety of a subject's life. The overall story, which is melodramatic, engages the abducted Ashkenazi in attempts to understand Maimonides's speculations on free will and Identity, as she uses her software to maintain her grasp of both. Eternal Life (2018) explores the perplexities assailing a woman whose Immortality – she is now 2000 years old and cannot die – becomes increasingly addressable in the twenty-first century: from the Media Landscape to Genetic Engineering, she finds her uniqueness challenged. She comes to terms with this, and with her burgeoning family, in terms that undamagingly evoke the Mainstream Writer of SF. [JC]

Dara Horn

born New Jersey: 1977


works (selected)


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