Genii loci

Poppies and bindweed growing on waste ground

Jo Walton: Among Others. Corsair 2013 (2010)

I was most struck many years ago by Arthur Koestler’s concept of the holon, which I understood as an organism that is both independent of and yet dependent on larger organisms, looking inwards as well as outwards, simultaneously a whole as well as a part. I thought of this when considering the title of Jo Walton’s Among Others because there is much in the novel which deals with aspects of this apparent dichotomy.

Fifteen-year-old Mori has that natural angst which most teenagers have, of knowing herself to be different and yet wanting to be part of a group or community; how she deals with the conflicts that arise from such contradictions form the mainstay of this many-layered novel.

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