Synopses & Reviews
In the spirit of Station Eleven
and The Age of Miracles
, this exciting literary debut novel imagines the consequences when four ordinary individuals are granted a chance to continue their lives in genetically perfect versions of their former bodies.
Would you live your life differently if you were given a second chance? Hannah, David, Connie, and Linda—four terminally ill patients—have been selected for the SUBlife pilot program, which will grant them brand-new, genetically perfect bodies that are exact copies of their former selves—without a single imperfection. Blemishes, scars, freckles, and wrinkles have all disappeared, their fingerprints are different, their vision is impeccable, and most importantly, their illnesses have been cured.
But the fresh start theyve been given is anything but perfect. Without their old bodies, their new physical identities have been lost. Hannah, an artistic prodigy, has to relearn how to hold a brush; David, a Congressman, grapples with his old habits; Connie, an actress whose stunning looks are restored after a protracted illness, tries to navigate an industry obsessed with physical beauty; and Linda, who spent eight years paralyzed after a car accident, now struggles to reconnect with a family that seems to have built a new life without her. As each tries to re-enter their previous lives and relationships they are faced with the question: how much of your identity rests not just in your mind, but in your heart, your body?
“What a stunning first novel! And Again
was continually haunting me, and just when I thought I knew these characters, who are so vivid and singular in their desires and frailties, and yet so universal in their humanity, they surprised me once more until the pages were finished and I was left pondering our lives, our future, and how love still works. Jessica Chiarella has so much talent."
—Susan Straight, author of Between Heaven and Here
"AND AGAIN is a moving and beautifully crafted novel about the frailty of identity, the illusion of control, and the enduring power of love. A fantastic debut."
—Laila Lalami, author of The Moor's Account, Pulitzer Prize finalist and longlisted for the Man Booker Prize
About the Author
Jessica Chiarella grew up in the Chicago area and has a Master’s Degree in Writing and Publishing from DePaul University. She is currently a student in the University of California, Riverside’s MFA in Creative Writing program.