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Genetically modified fiction

Literary fiction has long tinkered with science for its themes, but in biotechnology the novelistic imagination has found its ideal technical partner

By Julia Lovell   November 2002

Book: Wake up Author: Tim Pears, (Bloomsbury, £16.99) Book: Middlesex Author: Jeffrey Eugenides, (Bloomsbury, £16.99)

In Douglas Adams’s 1980 novel The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, as Zaphod Beeblebrox and friends take their seats at the restaurant of the same name, they are greeted by an ingeniously engineered bovine waiter: “Good evening. I am the main Dish of the Day. May I interest you in parts of my body?” It had been decided, the cow explains to its would-be consumers, to “breed an animal that actually wanted to be eaten and was capable of saying so clearly and…

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