Imitations of life: Cloning, heterosexuality and the human in Kazuo Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go

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Contemporary debate and speculation about the prospect of reproductive cloning reveals the way in which such beings, as 'copies' of human originals, challenge notions of the human, especially in relation to issues of individuality, authenticity and origin. This article explores the representation of human cloning in Kazuo Ishiguro's speculative fiction, Never let me go, published in 2005. It investigates the possibility that Ishiguro's exploration of the contingency of human identity has a significant, if oblique, relationship to heteronormative constructions of heterosexuality and the human. In order to trace how a fiction of human cloning might give rise to questions of heteronormativity, I will foreground issues of reproduction and their relationship to normative constructions of heterosexuality. The controversies prompted by the potential prospect of reproductive human cloning can be attributed in part to the ways in which it challenges the heterosexual prerogative to reproduction; I aim to situate human cloning within the context of other technologies of assisted reproduction and to theorise its challenge to the heterosexual prerogative to reproduction within feminist and queer frameworks.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-71
JournalJournal of Gender Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2010

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