Louisa Hall

Manuscript Literary Fiction

For readers of Rachel Cusk and Jenny Offill, a deeply intimate novel about pregnancy, birth, and artistic creation, by the Dylan Thomas Prize-shortlisted author of Trinity and Speak.

A woman begins work on a novel about Mary Shelley while pregnant for the first time. Recently married, she has just moved from New York to Montana.

As the woman writes, fragments of Shelley’s story begin to detach themselves from the page. Moving through her reproductive years, Shelley endured a catalogue of losses painful beyond comprehension. Still, she wrote, conceiving Frankenstein in 1818.

The woman’s experiences of pregnancy, miscarriage and labour are traumatic and disorienting, especially in the context of political upheaval, climate crisis, and an ongoing pandemic. Finally, she gives birth to a daughter and together they emerge into another world.

Then a friend from the past reappears. Anna is a biochemist who has been struggling to become a parent, a scientist who sees everything as an experiment. How far will she go in her desire to bring a baby into being?

A Frankenstein for the twenty-first century, Reproduction is a story of intense grief and transformative joy, and a powerful depiction of the emotional and physical costs of creating new life.


“What a brilliant novel! I was moved, troubled, enchanted; hardly able to breathe as I read. Hall’s dazzling and original tale has the force of myth, embodying the monstrous challenges of reproducing in our strange new world.” —Andrea Barrett, author of Ship Fever and Natural History

“I read this novel in a single rapturous sitting, torn between the desire to hurtle through its hypnotic prose and the desire to reread every perfect sentence. Reproduction exquisitely captures the lunacy of inhabiting an animal body with a human mind, and somehow manages also to be gross, funny, heartrending, and formally acrobatic. Louisa Hall is a singular talent and I am a devotee.” — Melissa Febos, author of Body Work, a national bestseller, and Girlhood, winner of the National Book Critics Circle

‘Louisa Hall is a writer to be admired.’ — Kevin Powers, author of The Yellow Birds

“Graceful, precise, and perceptive, this is a memorable take on the danger and strangeness of pregnancy.”–Publishers Weekly

‘Crystalline, utterly persuasive and transfixing.’ — The New York Times on Speak

‘Hypnotic . . . Hall has a knack for the precise, underwritten image.’ — The Guardian on Speak