"Desirable Body" by Hubert Haddad

Desirable Body Hubert Haddad, Alyson Waters

The Margellos World Republic of Letters
Publication date:
21 Aug 2018
Yale University Press
232 pages: 197 x 127mm

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.