Abstract

In this article, I will argue that Winterson’s use of satire and the common tropes of science fiction in her 2007 novel The Stone Gods provides an effective and important critique of the gender discrepancies arising in the implementation of aesthetic medical biotechnologies under the logic of neoliberal consumerism. In particular, engaging with aspects of Winterson’s fictional landscape in Part 1 of The Stone Gods, I will explore the themes of bodily normalization, the medicalization of youth and appearance, and the notion that biotechnologies such as cosmetic surgery can inculcate happiness through some sort of “psychological cure.” Ultimately, I will argue that Winterson’s aim in this novel is to raise important questions about where rising standards of enhancement and appearance, implemented through biotechnologies, will take us and, furthermore, to demonstrate that the problems of the human condition require more than the surface fixes offered by consumption, technological innovation, and narcissistic body projects.

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