Title Literary Bioethics: Animality, Disability, and the Human
Author Maren Tova Linett
ISBN 9781479801251
List price USD 28.00
Price outside India Available on Request
Original price
Binding Paperback
No of pages 224
Book size 153 x 229 mm
Publishing year 2020
Original publisher New York University Press (Combined Academic Publishers)
Published in India by .
Exclusive distributors Viva Books Private Limited
Sales territory India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, .
Status New Arrival
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Review of the Book:

“Linett’s articulation of literature as a site of bioethical exploration offers new and essential inroads for conversations on disability. Moving past the ‘thought experiment,’ Linett positions literature as an alternative kind of thought laboratory, one far more interested in whose lives are valued when we think bioethically”

Alison Kafer, author of Feminist, Queer, Crip


Uses literature to understand and remake our ethics regarding nonhuman animals, old human beings, disabled human beings, and cloned posthumans

Literary Bioethics argues for literature as an untapped and essential site for the exploration of bioethics. Novels, Maren Tova Linett argues, present vividly imagined worlds in which certain values hold sway, casting new light onto those values; and the more plausible and well rendered readers find these imagined worlds, the more thoroughly we can evaluate the justice of those values. In an innovative set of readings, Linett thinks through the ethics of animal experimentation in H.G. Wells’s The Island of Doctor Moreau, explores the elimination of aging in Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, considers the valuation of disabled lives in Flannery O’Connor’s The Violent Bear It Away, and questions the principles of humane farming through reading Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go. By analyzing novels published at widely spaced intervals over the span of a century, Linett offers snapshots of how we confront questions of value. In some cases the fictions are swayed by dominant devaluations of nonnormative or nonhuman lives, while in other cases they confirm the value of such lives by resisting instrumental views of their worth—views that influence, explicitly or implicitly, many contemporary bioethical discussions, especially about the value of disabled and nonhuman lives.

Literary Bioethics grapples with the most fundamental questions of how we value different kinds of lives, and questions what those in power ought to be permitted to do with those lives as we gain unprecedented levels of technological prowess.


Introduction: Reading Fiction, Valuing Different Kinds of Lives

Chapter 1. Beast Lives: Well’s The Island of Doctor Moreau

Chapter 2. Old Lives: Huxley’s Brave New World

Chapter 3. Disabled Lives: O’Connor’s  The Violent Bear It Away

Chapter 4. Cloned Lives: Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go

Epilogue: Revaluing Lives





About the Author

About the Author:

Maren Tova Linett is Professor of English and the Director of Critical Disability Studies at Purdue University. She is the author of Modernism, Feminism, and Jewishness (2007) and Bodies of Modernism: Physical Disability in Transatlantic Modernist Literature (2017), and the editor of two collections about modernist women writers.

Target Audience:

Students and academicians of English Literature.


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