What have we not done to live forever? The critically acclaimed author of The Fruit Hunters—now an award-winning documentary film—weaves together religion, science, and mythology in a gripping exploration of the most universal of human obsessions: immortality.
Raised an atheist, Adam Leith Gollner was struck by mankind’s tireless efforts to cheat aging and death. In a narrative that pivots between profundity and hilarity, he brings us into the world of those whose lives are shaped by a belief in immortality. From a Jesuit priest on his deathbed to anti-aging researchers at Harvard, Gollner—sorting truth from absurdity—canvasses religion and science for insight, along with an array of cults, myths, and fringe figures.
He journeys to David Copperfield’s archipelago in the Bahamas, where the magician claims to have found “a liquid that reverses genes.” He attends a costume party set in the year 2068 with a group of radical life-extensionists, explores a cryonics facility, and soaks in the transformative mineral waters at the Esalen Institute. Looking to history, Gollner visits St. Augustine, Florida, where Ponce de Leon is thought to have sought the fountain of youth.
Combining immersive reporting, rigorous research, and lyrical prose, Gollner charts the rise of longevity science from its alchemical beginnings to modern-day genetic interventions. He explores the symbolic representation of eternal life and its connection to water. Interlaced throughout is a compelling meditation on the nature of belief. An incredible thinker with “the talents of an investigative journalist, poet, travel writer, and humorist grafted onto one unusual specimen” (Mary Roach, The New York Times Book Review), Adam Leith Gollner has written a rollicking and revelatory examination of our age-old notion of living forever.
Adam Leith Gollner has written for The New York Times, Gourmet, Bon Appetit, The Globe and Mail, and Good magazine. The former editor of Vice Magazine, he is also a musician and filmmaker. He lives in Montreal and Los Angeles.
The Fruit Hunters Adam Leith Gollner and Miracle Fruit
Adam Leith Gollner explores the intriguing miracle berry and the politics and controversies surrounding it as well as its incredible capabilities