Desirable Body

Hubert Haddad; Translated from the French by Alyson Waters

View Inside Price: $16.00


August 21, 2018
232 pages, 5 x 7 3/4
ISBN: 9780300224368
PB-with Flaps

A medical mystery/fantasy/love story that delves deeply into the nature of consciousness while raising many of the ethical and existential issues facing scientists today

A contemporary Frankenstein that defies expectations, this is a thrilling novel, couched in luminous, captivating prose about a journalist, Cédric Allyn-Weberson, who suffers a horrific accident, paralyzing him from the neck down. An ideal candidate for a body transplant, Cédric survives the surgery but has both physical and existential trouble with his recovery and adaptation: encountering his lover with a new body, discovering the life history of his donor, and attempting to understand the mind-body relationship as he lives it.

Haddad explores the confusion and insignificance of a single consciousness before experience and identity: What is a head without a body? What or who is a lover with another’s body? The gruesome transplant (detailed in a manner that highlights the author’s own diligent research and comprehension) parallels other ways humanity mutates nature globally; the novel is a provocative and timely allegory—a work of dystopian fantasy.

Hubert Haddad is a French author born in Tunisia—a novelist, an art historian, a playwright, and an essayist. Alyson Waters is an award-winning translator, the managing editor of Yale French Studies, and a senior lecturer in the department of French at Yale University.

“This novel raises terribly timely ethical and existential questions in an atmosphere of ceaseless suspense.”—Mémoire des Arts on the French edition of Desirable Body

“Hubert Haddad’s limpid and realistic prose is captivating.”—Terra Eco on the French edition of Desirable Body

“In book after book, Hubert Haddad proves the seriousness and importance of his work.”— Yves Viollier, La vie on the French edition of Desirable Body

“Once again [Hubert Haddad] confirms the multifaceted dimension of his talent in this mesmerizing tale where the unimaginable is imagined and the inconceivable is conceived.”—La croix on the French edition of Desirable Body

Desirable Body is as surprising as it is masterful.”—La Montagne on the French edition of Desirable Body

“[A] sharp and provocative novel . . . Haddad’s fabulously imagined, deeply intelligent, and vividly realized modern parable—complete with moments of true horror—sizzles as it grapples with the question of what makes a self, and if it’s ever possible to separate soul from flesh.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Sales Restrictions: World (non-exclusive throughout the Indian subcontinent)
The Margellos World Republic of Letters
A Guide to Philosophy in Six Hours and Fifteen Minutes

Witold Gombrowicz; Translated by Benjamin Ivry

View details
Ferdydurke

Witold Gombrowicz; Translated by Danuta Borchardt; Foreword

...
View details
Diary

Witold Gombrowicz; Translated by Lillian Vallee

View details
Five Spice Street

Can Xue, Translated by Karen Gernant and Chen Zeping

View details
Exemplary Novels

Miguel de Cervantes; Translated from the Spanish by Edith G

...
View details
Songbook
The Selected Poems of Umberto Saba

Umberto Saba; Translated by George Hochfield and Leonard Na

...
View details