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How might the origins of our species inform the way we think about our planet? At a point of unparalleled crisis, can human ingenuity save us from ourselves?
Much-loved writer and broadcaster Ramona Koval travels the globe in a quest to answer these difficult questions and more. She speaks with an eminent paleo-archeologist in the Republic of Georgia, meets the next generation of robots in Berlin, attends a transhumanist conference in California, and explores a cave in southern France before talking with the world’s leading authority on cave art.
And throughout, she returns to her quick-witted, ever-engaging youngest granddaughter, Layla, whose development in infancy spurs Koval to find out what makes us human, what separates us from the other apes.
Filled with insightful and unexpected discussions with scientists whose knowledge of the past could hold the key to our future, A Letter to Layla will surprise and delight in equal measure.
‘[Ramona Koval is] a shining presence in the world of literature, here in Australia and right across the globe…Her voice is always recognisable, invigorating, familiar to us and greatly loved.’
‘[Koval’s] accessibly written forays into the science of DNA and familial lineages, and what makes us who we are, is beautifully intertwined with her meditations on identity and belonging…Readers too will be deeply shocked by the atrocities outlined in Bloodhound. Such shock, however, is an important reminder that history should never be forgotten, and that books like Bloodhound should continue being written for generations to come.’