Episode 24: The Unseen World by Liz Moore
The Unseen World begins in the 1980s, in Boston, before the Internet, before e-mail or smart phones, when computers were large and clunky and not yet ubiquitous, and where David Sibelius, computer scientist, is raising his daughter Ada alone. Ada's childhood is an atypical one: she spends her time with David and his colleagues, not going to school, learning in David's artificial intelligence lab. So when, shortly after Ada turns 12, David is diagnosed with Alzheimer's, Ada is utterly lost. It turns out she is even more lost than she knows: everything David has told her, his friends, and his colleagues about his past, including his name, is a lie. Ada's life becomes a quest for the truth, as she seeks to decode the mystery her father has left her, and to understand what can be invented and still be the truth.
Liz Moore answers host Cyd Oppenheimer's questions about all the ways this book is different from her previous novel, Heft, in what it chooses to divulge and how it ends; talks about her writing process; and reveals that originally David had a different secret past (but won't tell us what it was!).