Profile Books will publish former soldier and double amputee Harry Parker’s “personal and eye-opening look at how science and tech are ‘hacking’ our bodies”, Hybrid Humans, to be published under its Wellcome Collection imprint in 2020.
Francesca Barrie, commissioning editor at Profile’s Wellcome Collection acquired world rights from Matthew Hamilton at Aitken Alexander. It will be published in autumn 2020.
In the new book, the The Anatomy of a Soldier author “takes us on a journey through an exhilarating landscape of very human hacking from 3D printing to cutting-edge regenerative medicine, the latest in prosthetic technology, to bionic eye implants, brain sensors and vocal software,” Profile said. “He guides us to where this ingenious new field meets everyday life and introduces the true pioneers who are located far from the lab or Google office.”
“This story of human ingenuity is a long and intensely personal one: from the first pair of spectacles to the wooden prosthetics of Ancient Egypt. The limits of our bodies to integrate the machine have always been with us too, as Parker knows only too well, in the messy space where human being meets hard steel.”
Parker joined the British Army when he was 23 and served in Iraq in 2007 and Afghanistan in 2009 as a Captain, before stepping on a bomb while on foot patrol - he now walks on metal legs. He is now a writer and artist, based in London. His debut, a novel set in an unnamed conflict zone, Anatomy of a Soldier, was published by Faber in 2016, and has been translated into eight languages.
Barrie said: “We couldn’t be more excited to be publishing Harry Parker, who writes so brilliantly about how we modify, enhance and hack our own bodies, at a time when we have never used technology more intensively or intimately.”
Parker said: “It’s an honour to be working on this project with the brilliant team at Wellcome Collection and Profile Books. Ten years ago, technology remade me. I learnt to walk again on prosthetics. It was magic, mysterious and freeing. But at the same time it was painful, shameful and imprisoning. In Hybrid Humans, I’m excited to be exploring what it means to repair the body with technology and how it affects us all.”