IN ASCENSION – Martin MacInnes in conversation with Valerie O’Riordan

  • DATE

    13 February 2024

  • TIME

    6:30 pm to 8:00 pm

  • AGES

    All ages welcome




    Blackwell's Bookshop Manchester
    University Green, 146 Oxford Rd, Manchester, M13 9GP

Blackwell’s Manchester absolutely delighted to be welcoming Martin MacInnes to Manchester to celebrate the paperback release of his incredible novel IN ASCENSION. Longlisted for the 2023 Booker prize and winner of the Blackwell’s Book of the Year 2023, In Ascension is a hauntingly beautiful book which takes us from the depths of the ocean to the far reaches of outer space in order to expolore humanity’s place in the universe. Martin will be in conversation with Valerie O’Riordan.

Doors: 6.30, starts: 6.45

Tickets are £3.00 or free when ordering a copy of the book. IN ASCENSION will also be available to purchase on the night and Martin will be signing copies after the talk. If you would like a signed copy but cannot make the event, please contact us on 0161 274 3331 or and we can arrange this for you.

About the book:

Leigh grew up in Rotterdam, drawn to the waterfront as an escape from her unhappy home life and volatile father. Enchanted by the undersea world of her childhood, she excels in marine biology, travelling the globe to study ancient organisms. When a trench is discovered in the Atlantic ocean, Leigh joins the exploration team, hoping to find evidence of the earth’s first life forms – what she instead finds calls into question everything we know about our own beginnings.

Her discovery leads Leigh to the Mojave desert and an ambitious new space agency. Drawn deeper into the agency’s work, she learns that the Atlantic trench is only one of several related phenomena from across the world, each piece linking up to suggest a pattern beyond human understanding. Leigh knows that to continue working with the agency will mean leaving behind her declining mother and her younger sister, and faces an impossible choice: to remain with her family, or to embark on a journey across the breadth of the cosmos.

Exploring the natural world with the wonder and reverence we usually reserve for the stars, In Ascension is a compassionate, deeply inquisitive epic that reaches outward to confront the greatest questions of existence, looks inward to illuminate the smallest details of the human heart, and shows how – no matter how far away we might be and how much we have lost hope – we will always attempt to return to the people and places we call home.

About the author:

Martin MacInnes was born in Inverness in 1983. He is the author of Infinite Ground, Gathering Evidence and In Ascension , and he is the winner of a Somerset Maugham Award, the Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award and a Manchester Fiction Prize. In 2020 he was selected by the Guardian/British Council as One of Ten Writers Shaping the UK’s Future. He lives in Edinburgh.