Representations of Organ Transplants

Western Fantasies and Black Market Realities

Among the many spectacular scientific breakthroughs of the last hundred years, developments in biotechnology have perhaps been the most noteworthy. Bill Gates even claimed that if he were a teenager today, he’d be hacking biology. For many people, however, biotechnologies such as organ transplantation entail more than the mere exchange of cells and human tissue. As sites of cultural work, literary texts participate in the discourse on transplantation. They create a cultural field where opposing views on transplant surgery struggle for expression without cancelling one another.

The result is an interdisciplinary echo chamber that allows readers to pinpoint specific areas of cultural disruption involved in transplantation. Analyzing literary fiction hence constitutes a significant point of departure for those who continue to struggle with the peculiar and essentially disturbing phenomenon of organ transplantation.