My Child, the Algorithm

An alternatively intelligent book of love
Hannah Silva


£12.99 | 6 July 2023 | ISBN: 9781804440407


£11.99 | 6 July 2023 | ISBN: 9781804440414

Writer and performer Hannah Silva interrogates her life with the input of two unreliable narrators – an algorithm and a toddler. Her living exploration of undoing and redoing love and motherhood, and specifically queer single motherhood, unravels everything she has been taught to want and explores alternative ways of thinking, loving and parenting today.

As she navigates friendship, dating and life as a single mum in London, the algorithm and toddler encourage flights of imagination and infinite mischief. Hannah and the algorithm play with language as the toddler plays with playdoh, building shapes, moulding rainbows. Hannah writes and re-writes herself and her child, who every night asks ‘tell me a story about me.’ Both toddler and algorithm veer her story in unexpected directions – ‘no, this way mummy!’ – with a playful curiosity that injects humour and insight into the author’s life as she negotiates being one of two mothers and questions how she has lived and loved in the past.

With the help of the algorithm, Hannah deconstructs love, and reconstructs it too, through friendships and parenting. She questions our society, so built around the unit of the nuclear family, and a universal credit system that is impossible for any single parent to get out off – unless they move in with a partner.

Queer, honest, thoughtful, sexy and compassionate, My Child, the Algorithm is non-fiction at its finest.

My Child, the Algorithm redoes what autobiography is. Funny, inventive and moving, it raises the stakes for the rest of us writers’Isabel Waidner

‘Hannah breaks all the rules in order to refresh our minds. No writer I know in drama is as brave or as vulnerable. She talks to another hinterland of the mind. She writes like she is climbing a mountain naked…. an important new talent’Fiona Shaw

‘A brilliant, surprising, funny, moving, unexpected, unique work of genius’Nadia Molinari

‘I loved it… thoughtful, funny, inspiring, revelatory and – above all – honest and open’Jeremy Mortimer

About the Author

Hannah Silva is a writer and performer working in sound poetry, radio, and experimental non-fiction. Her record ‘Talk in a bit’ was included in the Wire‘s Top 25 Albums of 2018. She has written eight plays for BBC Radio 3 and 4, and won the Tinniswood Award for best script and numerous placements in the BBC Audio Drama Awards. Her debut poetry collection Forms of Protest was Highly Commended in the Forward Prizes. She has an MFA in Theatre Practice, a PhD on the analysis of poetry in performance from Stirling University and is currently a Leverhulme Early Career fellow at Queen Mary University, London. Her play for BBC Radio 4 ‘An Artificially Intelligent Guide to Love’ starred Fiona Shaw and was the starting point for My Child, the Algorithm. She lives in London with her toddler.