Hackenfeller’s Ape (Faber Editions)
Introduced by Sarah Hall
by Brophy, Brigid | Literature & literary studies
Published 05/10/2023 by FABER & FABER in the United Kingdom as part of the Faber Editions series
Paperback | 144 pages
An eccentric professor saves a London Zoo ape from a rocket experiment in this dazzling classic by a trailblazing animal rights activist, introduced by Sarah Hall.
‘Pitch-perfect.’ Ali Smith ‘So original.’ Hilary Mantel ‘Stunning.’ Isabel Waidner’There is nobody quite like her.’ A.S. Byatt ‘Her beastly, risky best.’ Eley Williams
When my species has destroyed itself, we may need yours to start it all again. In London Zoo, Professor Darrylhyde is singing to the apes again. Outside their cage, he watches the two animals, longing to observe the mating ritual of this rare species. But Percy, inhibited by confinement and melancholy, is repulsing Edwina’s desirous advances. Soon, the Professor’s connection increases as he talks, croons, befriends – so when a scientist arrives on a secret governmental mission to launch Percy into space, he vows to secure his freedom. But when met by society’s indifference, he takes matters into his own hands . . . A trailblazing animal rights campaigner, Brigid Brophy’s sensational 1953 novel is as provocative and philosophical seventy years on. An electric moral fable, it is as much a blazingly satirical reflection on homo sapiens as the non-human – on our capacity for violence, red in tooth and claw, not only to other species, but our own.