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Skin: A Biography
Author: Sharad P. Paul

Publisher: Fourth Estate
ISBN: 9789350294031
Pages: 228
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The story goes back to a flat and primeval earth, where the sun was dominant and the seas shallow. Fossils buried and unearthed, unicellular and multicellular, all told this evolutionary tale of the development of skin into an organ, and the changes it undertook every time the future of a species was at stake.’

Skin: A Biography tells a complex tale with many unexpected connections in its exploration of our largest sense organ. It is a tale that lays bare a strange world: a mix of science, romance and mystery. Did you know, for instance, that one single chemically inert and stable pigment is responsible for all variations in skin colour among humans. That the top layer of our skin is essentially ‘dead’. Have you stopped to think why we need skin at all – or for that matter, why life even bothered to move from its uncomplicated unicellular state to these messy, energy-consuming, multi-cellular beings?

Beautifully written and passionately researched, this book will fundamentally change the way we think about skin and skin colour. Combining scientific expertise with his credentials as an acclaimed writer of literary fiction, Sharad P. Paul peels away artificial divisions to lay open the genetic chains that bind races and species together, and draws us into a wonderful, uncertain world.