Blood: The Stuff of Life

Blood: The Stuff of Life

by Lawrence Hill
     
 

In Blood, bestselling author Lawrence Hill offers a provocative examination of the scientific and social history of blood, and on the ways that it unites and divides us today.

Blood runs red through every person’s arteries, and fulfills the same functions in every human being. However, as much as the study and use of blood has helped advance our

Overview

In Blood, bestselling author Lawrence Hill offers a provocative examination of the scientific and social history of blood, and on the ways that it unites and divides us today.

Blood runs red through every person’s arteries, and fulfills the same functions in every human being. However, as much as the study and use of blood has helped advance our understanding of human biology, its cultural and social representations have divided us perennially. Blood pulses through religions, literature, and the visual arts, and every time it pools or spills, we learn a little more about what brings human beings together and what divides them.

This book is a fascinating historical and contemporary interpretation of blood, as a bold and enduring determinant of identity, race, culture, citizenship, belonging, privilege, deprivation, athletic superiority, and nationhood.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
★ 10/14/2013
Anansi presents this year's CBC Massey Lectures, written and delivered by noted author Lawrence Hill. Hill, who is perhaps best known for his bestselling The Book of Negroes (published as Someone Knows My Name in the U.S.), expounds on the subject of blood, not so much in the sense of hematology—although that does get discussed—as on how the metaphors that use blood, from purity to lineage, have shaped human societies, often for the worse. On balance, where hematology, enabling increasingly powerful medical techniques at the cost of occasional missteps, blood as a symbol seems to function mainly to give humans reasons to finely divide populations along arbitrary kinship lines, to inspire brutal violence and genocide and to justify exploitative social orders. Blood is necessary for life, but it has also come to symbolize violence; Hill's lectures explain why. His prose is transparent and compelling, and while his organization is at times idiosyncratic, it serves his ends. Although it offers some depressing views of humanity, the book is as enthralling as it is informative. The reasons for Hill's success as a writer are apparent throughout; if he were not already established as an author to follow, this work would accomplish that. Agent: Ellen Levine, Trident Media Group. (Nov.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781770893238
Publisher:
House of Anansi Press
Publication date:
10/26/2013
Series:
CBC Massey Lecture Series
Pages:
272
Sales rank:
1,176,561
Product dimensions:
4.90(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.90(d)

Meet the Author

Lawrence Hill:Lawrence Hill is the author of several novels and works of nonfiction, including the national bestseller Someone Knows My Name; Black Berry, Sweet Juice: On Being Black and White in Canada; and Some Great Thing. He also co-authored, with Joshua Key, The Deserter’s Tale: The Story of an Ordinary Soldier Who Walked Away from the War in Iraq.

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