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The Body and Seven Stories

by Hanif Kureishi

The main story at the centre of this book, The Body, explores the nature of identity and self-worth. Can an aging playwright find happiness by taking on the body of a young man? This is a classic old-fashioned medical horror story and, once you have suspended your belief over the science, you will be drawn in to a vision of the world that is frightening and repulsive but not so far removed from the image-conscious world we live in now.

Extract

Every body is different, but all are identical in their uncontrollability: bodies do various involuntary things, like crying, sneezing, urinating, growing or becoming sexually excited. You soon find that bodies can get very attracted and repelled by other bodies, even - or particularly - when they don't want to.

Parallels

Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
 

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