The Ministry of Time: A Novel (Hardcover)

The Ministry of Time: A Novel By Kaliane Bradley Cover Image

The Ministry of Time: A Novel (Hardcover)


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May 2024 Indie Next List

The Ministry of Time is a rare story that mashes up favorite time-worn tropes — from Star Trek to spy thrillers to Victorian romances — in a crucible of colonialism and the pitfalls of diversity in a near-future London. Oh, and it’s sexy as hell.”
— Amanda Qassar, Warwick's, La Jolla, CA

“If youre a fan of Outlander, spy novels, time travel books, or just really innovative and fun storytelling, The Ministry of Time is definitely for you.” —Town & Country, 45 Must-Read Books of Spring 2024

Part time travel romance, part spy thriller and 100% “multi-faceted joyride” (Harper’s Bazaar, UK): Welcome to The Ministry of Time, the exhilaratingly original debut novel by Kaliane Bradley.

In the near future, a civil servant is offered the salary of her dreams and is, shortly afterward, told what project she’ll be working on. A recently established government ministry is gathering “expats” from across history to establish whether time travel is feasible—for the body, but also for the fabric of space-time.

She is tasked with working as a “bridge”: living with, assisting, and monitoring the expat known as “1847” or Commander Graham Gore. As far as history is concerned, Commander Gore died on Sir John Franklin’s doomed 1845 expedition to the Arctic, so he’s a little disoriented to be living with an unmarried woman who regularly shows her calves, surrounded by outlandish concepts such as “washing machines,” “Spotify,” and “the collapse of the British Empire.” But with an appetite for discovery, a seven-a-day cigarette habit, and the support of a charming and chaotic cast of fellow expats, he soon adjusts.

Over the next year, what the bridge initially thought would be, at best, a horrifically uncomfortable roommate dynamic, evolves into something much deeper. By the time the true shape of the Ministry’s project comes to light, the bridge has fallen haphazardly, fervently in love, with consequences she never could have imagined. Forced to confront the choices that brought them together, the bridge must finally reckon with how—and whether she believes—what she does next can change the future.

An exquisitely original and feverishly fun fusion of genres and ideas, The Ministry of Time asks: What does it mean to defy history, when history is living in your house? Kaliane Bradley’s answer is a blazing, unforgettable testament to what we owe each other in a changing world.
Kaliane Bradley is a British-Cambodian writer and editor based in London. Her short fiction has appeared in Somesuch Stories, The Willowherb Review, Electric Literature, Catapult, and Extra Teeth, among others. She was the winner of the 2022 Harper’s Bazaar Short Story Prize and the 2022 V.S. Pritchett Short Story Prize.
Product Details ISBN: 9781668045145
ISBN-10: 1668045141
Publisher: Avid Reader Press / Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: May 7th, 2024
Pages: 352
Language: English
"An outrageously brilliant debut with a premise that just gets more and more original. The Ministry of Time pulls off the neatest trick of speculative fiction, first estranging us from our own era, and then facilitating our immigration back into the present; but it is also a love story, exploratory, sensitive, charged with possibility, and powered by desire, reminding us that history is synonymous with human beings, and that we all have the ability to change it. This is already the best new book I will have read next year." —Eleanor Catton, author of Birnam Wood

The Ministry of Time is as electric, charming, whimsical, and strange as its ripped-from-history cast. (Extremely.) I loved every second I spent wrapped up in Kaliane Bradley's stunning prose, the moments that made me laugh and those that made my heart ache. This is a book that surprises as much as it delights, and I'm already impatiently waiting for whatever Bradley concocts next." —Emily Henry, author of Happy Place

"Fantastically fun and unmistakably urgent, The Ministry of Time is an ecstatic celebration of fiction in all its vehement, ungovernable, mutinous glory." —Megha Majumdar, author of A Burning

"Holy smokes, this novel is an absolute cut above! Kaliane Bradley leaps into a storytelling league of her own. This book is deadly serious speculative fiction, but it is also one of the funniest books I've read in years. It's exciting, surprising, intellectually provocative, weird, radical, tender, and moving. I missed it when I was away from it. I will hurry to re-read it. Make room on your bookshelves for a new classic." —Max Porter, author of Grief is the Thing with Feathers

"Hugely enjoyable: ingeniously constructed, beautifully written, and unexpectedly sexy. It is the rarest of creations: a boldly entertaining page-tuner that is also deeply, thoughtfully engaged with our past, present and future." —Joanna Quinn, author of The Whalebone Theatre

"Kaliane Bradley writes with the maximalist confidence of P. G. Wodehouse, but also with the page-turning pining of Sally Rooney. It's thought-provoking and horribly clever—but it also made me laugh out loud." —Alice Winn, author of In Memoriam

"I haven’t enjoyed a book this much for a very long time. It’s wonderful, joyful, intelligent and hilarious. I underlined as I read and felt a strong sadness at finishing because I could not read it again for the first time." —Daisy Johnson, author of Sisters

"A fantastic debut: conceptually brilliant, really funny, genuinely moving, written in the most exquisite language and with a wonderful articulation of the knotty complexities of a mixed-race heritage." —Mark Haddon, author of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime

"The Ministry of Time is a feast of a novel—singular, alarming and (above all) incredibly sexy. An astonishingly assured debut, offering weird and unexpected delights on every page. I will be running towards whatever Kaliane Bradley writes next." —Julia Armfield, author of Our Wives Under the Sea

"Sly and illusionless in its use of history, lovely in its sentences, warm—no, hotter than thatin its characterisation, devastating in its denouement. A weird, kind, clever, heartsick little time bomb of a book." —Francis Spufford, author of Golden Hill

"What a stunning and remarkable wonder! What if time travel was run by a bureaucracy? . . . There's something here for everyone—world history, side-splitting humour, lusty tension, brilliant prose, and characters to root for desperately. . .  The Ministry of Time is the most vibe-forward book I have ever read." —Vanessa Chan, author of The Storm We Made

The Ministry of Time encapsulates life's paradoxes as easily as it transcends genre. Readers may see echoes of Severance's disaffected second-generation office worker-turned-heroine, or the romantic time travel adventure of Outlander, but Kaliane Bradley has created something equally brilliant and entirely her own.” —Shelf Awareness

"A thrilling time-travelling romance about a real-life Victorian polar explorer who is brought from the past into 21st-century London as part of a government experiment. . . A weird, funny mash-up of The Time Traveler’s Wife and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow." —The Times UK

"Told over space and time, Bradley’s debut is at once an outrageously fun comedy while also providing keen analyses on the nature of colonialism, power and bureaucracy. One not to miss." —Dazed