From the award-winning author of Our Endless Numbered Days, Swimming Lessons, Bitter Orange, and Unsettled Ground comes a beautiful and searing novel of memory, love, survival―and octopuses.

Global pandemic, death.

In the face of a pandemic, an unprepared world scrambles to escape the mysterious disease’s devastating symptoms: sensory damage, memory loss, death. Neffy, a disgraced and desperately indebted twenty-seven-year-old marine biologist, registers for an experimental vaccine trial in London―perhaps humanity’s last hope for a cure. Though isolated from the chaos outside, she and the other volunteers―Rachel, Leon, Yahiko, and Piper―cannot hide from the mistakes that led them there.

As London descends into chaos outside the hospital windows, Neffy befriends Leon, who before the pandemic had been working on a controversial technology that allows users to revisit their memories. She withdraws into projections of her past―a childhood bisected by divorce; a recent love affair; her obsessive research with octopuses and the one mistake that ended her career. The lines between past, present, and future begin to blur, and Neffy is left with defining questions: Who can she trust? Why can’t she forgive herself? How should she live, if she survives?

The Memory of Animals is an ambitious, deeply imagined work of survival and suspense, grief and hope, consequences and connectedness, that asks what truly defines us―and the lengths we will go to rescue ourselves and those we love.

Don't just take our word for it...

“No mere survival story, the novel explores the isolation and grief that comes with outliving the people with whom you have unfinished business.”
—The Philadelphia Inquirer, A Best Book of June

“Fuller excels in examining the everyday moments at the heart of a life. . . . A memorable meditation on how the human struggle to survive in captivity is not so different than that of our animal kin.”
— Kirkus Reviews

“The Memory of Animals has done the impossible—made me eagerly anticipate a novel that involves a pandemic in the year 2023. It’s also got: experimental technology that allows users to revisit their memories, marine biology, and promises to be an immersive, thought-provoking, and haunting-in-a-good-way literary masterwork.”
– Powell’s

Taste the very first page

Day Zero Minus Two

A nurse collects me from the ground-floor lobby and takes me and my wheeled suitcase up in the lift. I smell the familiar odours of disinfectant and industrial cleaner, mixed with a kind of hopeful hopelessness. The nurse, whose head is level with my chest, is wearing the ubiquitous hospital top and loose trousers; the same as the nurses wore in the clinic in the hills above Big Sur and in the hospital in Athens. She’s also got on a medical face mask like me but, above her brown eyes, neatly drawn eyebrows arch. She asks whether I had a good journey even though she must know they sent a car and that I sat in the back with a plastic screen between me and the driver. What she doesn’t know is that I was smarting from the argument with Justin while the phone in my pocket vibrated with messages from him and Mum—apologies at first, rising to warnings and then angry admonishments to turn back now. Part of me worried I’d made another bad decision but the more my phone buzzed the more determined I became. I tried to calm myself by watching the empty streets of central London go…