Books by Liz Jensen

Liz Jensen was born in Oxfordshire, the daughter of a Danish father and an Anglo-Moroccan mother. She spent two years as a journalist in the Far East before joining the BBC, first as a journalist, then as a TV and radio producer. She then moved to France

Released: Jan. 8, 2013

"An intricate, intelligent, nightmarish eco-prophecy delivered in pacey fictional form."
The children have turned murderous and the adults become suicidal saboteurs in Jensen's (The Rapture, 2009, etc.) compelling apocalyptic literary thriller. Read full book review >
THE RAPTURE by Liz Jensen
Released: Aug. 11, 2009

"Any one of these plot strands could plausibly drive an arresting story. When Jensen (My Dirty Little Book of Stolen Time, 2006, etc.) folds them all together, the result is a ride even bumpier than the one that killed Gabrielle's lover."
A troubled therapist's attempts in the very near future to treat an even more troubled teen rapidly escalate into visions of full-scale global disaster. Read full book review >
Released: July 11, 2006

"Great fun for any century."
A quick-witted prostitute in 19th-century Copenhagen finds love in 21st-century London. Read full book review >
Released: Jan. 10, 2005

"By turns disarmingly comical, absorbingly suspenseful, and finally shattering."
For everybody who thought they'd never see another novel like The Lovely Bones, a neurologist in Provence struggles to get a comatose nine-year-old to tell what put him into a persistent vegetative state. Read full book review >
ARK BABY by Liz Jensen
Released: April 24, 1998

A grab bag of a story that offers a literate if self-conscious and scattered tour of Victorian grotesqueries as postmillennial Britain faces extinction. Second-novelist Jensen (Egg Dancing, not reviewed) moves from the coming millennium back to the Victorian period, and forward again, in an attempt to illuminate the many strange links between humans and their nearest primate kin. A torrential rain has caused a mysterious decline in fertility, and by 2005 it's clear that Britons will likely become extinct. Primates have become substitute infants, and when veterinarian Bobby Sullivan is accused of having murdered one (he insists that he was only following the orders of the jealous husband), the threat of prosecution sends him north to the remote seaside town of Thunder Spit, where all Jensen's narrative threads eventually converge. The author's version of the Victorian age here is populated with a crowd of odd or outright freakish individuals. The famous taxidermist Dr. Scrapie, of Thunder Spit, has been asked to mount an elaborate collection of stuffed animals for Queen Victoria. His wife, the "Empress of Laudanum," has drug-induced visions of the future, and their giantess daughter, Violet, is a noted vegetarian cook. There's also a former slave-trader searching for animal specimens for the Queen and hoping, meanwhile, to figure out whether apes and humans can mate—and who finds the last "Gentleman Monkey" in the wild and puts him in a cage with a captive ballerina. Meanwhile, the harried Bobby is attracted to Rose and Blanche, twins with unusual feet and body hair. Pregnant by Bobby, the two women, who turn out (of course) to be descendants of the gentleman monkey and the ballerina, via Violet, are the result of an "evolutionary tangent"—the sudden changes that speed up evolution and produce a new breed of humans. They are also, it seems, the mothers of a new race of Brits. Strained would-be satire, with its intellectual and narrative punch diluted by very obvious foreshadowing. Read full book review >
EGG DANCING by Liz Jensen
Released: March 18, 1996

A would-be bitter comedy of manipulation and revenge from a first-time author. From the day her father abandoned his family to run off to New Zealand with his mistress, little Hazel Sugden dreamed of also herself fleeing her crazy mother, sadistic sister, and all of the gritty ``Cheeseways'' section of Gridiron, England, into the arms of a capable husband and a stable, middle-class life. The appearance of square-jawed Gregory Stevenson, Gridiron's most popular gynecologist and scientific researcher, occurred just in time, and Hazel was quick to marry him. Now, though, years later, with a house in the suburbs and a nice if rather odd young son, Hazel isn't quite so sure she chose wisely. For one thing, Gregory's research into ``Genetic Choice,'' a drug that can supposedly help mothers produce perfect offspring, is being lambasted as the Devil's work by popular televangelist Reverend Carmichael. Then there's the fact that Gregory's unmarried research partner, Dr. Ruby Gonzalez, looks remarkably and very smugly pregnant. When Hazel begins to suspect that her own son, Billy, is in fact the result of one of Gregory's botched perfect-baby experiments, and that Ruby's child-to-be is the long-awaited new, improved model, she flees to Ma for comfort. But Mother Sugden now lives at the Manxheath Institute of Challenged Stability, and when the institute's head psychiatrist learns of Hazel's predicament, he promptly teams up with fellow-scientist Gregory to have Hazel committed, too. Luckily, Hazel's lonely, career-focused sister, Linda, has fallen for the potbellied Reverend Carmichael and is eager to prove her religious devotion by wreaking havoc on Gregory's work—just as the Madonna-like Dr. Gonzales prepares to give a perfect birth. Will the Sugdens and Stevensons manage to sort themselves, and their offspring, out once this Christlike baby is born? Had even one of these characters been a mite more likable or intelligent, the reader might care. As it is, it's one big fix the author has got into—and it's not particularly interesting watching her scramble out. Read full book review >