A revolutionary take on the classic dystopian science fiction novel, Clone inaugurates a new kind of writing in India. Priya Sarukkai Chabria weaves the tale of a fourteenth-generation clone in twenty-fourth-century India who struggles against imposed amnesia and sexual taboos in a species-depleted world. With resonant and allusive prose, Chabria takes us along as the clone hesitantly navigates through a world rendered unfamiliar by her expanding consciousness. This slow transformation is mirrored in the way both she and her world appear to the reader. The necessary questions Chabria raises revolve around a shared humanity, the necessity of plurality of expression, the wonder of love, and the splendour of difference.
Clone’s adventurous forays into vastly different times, spaces, and consciousness—animal, human, and post-human—build a poetic story about compassion and memory in the midst of all that is grotesque.
Note: A different version of this book was previously published under the title Generation 14.
— Sudipta Dutta, The Financial Times
“A poetic imagination”
— Tim Parks, translator and author
“Ambitious and inventive”
— George Szirtes, translator and poet
— Rashmi Vasudeva, Deccan Herald
Priya Sarukkai Chabria is a writer, poet and translator. She has written several books, including Dialogues and Other Poems, Not Springtime Yet, and Generation 14. She is also the co-author / co-translator of Andal: The Autobiography of a Goddess, published by Zubaan in 2016.Continue reading
Winner of the Muse India Translation Prize (2018), Priya Sarukkai Chabria and Ravi Shankar’s elegant new translations of eighth-century Tamil poet and founding saint Andal, cements her status as the South Indian corollary to Mirabai.
In this one volume is her entire corpus, composed before she apocryphally merged with the idol of her chosen god as a young teenager, leaving behind the still popular song of congregational worship, the Thiruppavai, a collection of thirty pasuram (stanzas) sung for Lord Tirumal (Vishnu) and the much less frequently translated and rapturously erotic Nacchiyar Thirumoli.
Chabria and Shankar employ a radical new method of revitalizing classical verse by shifting it into a contemporary poetic idiom in another language. Some of the hymns are translated collaboratively, others by one or another of the translators, and others separately by each. This kaleidoscopic approach allows the reader multiple perspectives on the rich sonic and philosophical complexity of Andal’s classical Tamil.Continue reading
“I am a fourteenth generation clone and something has gone wrong with me. Not that my DNA is altered, not that I am a mutant. Not that any function need be eliminated. It’s nothing obvious. It’s terminal, and secret. Let me put it this way: I remember.”
In a world where memory is forbidden and sexuality taboo, Clone 14/54/G is unique. Haunted by her past lives and caught in a struggle between the forces of oppression and those of liberty, language and love, she keeps a secret journal.
Set in the 24th century, the novel journeys back and forth across millennia to explore ideas of plural identity, and what it means to be human. This extraordinary novel is unlike any other coming from the subcontinent, and heralds a new generation of fantasy writing from India.
Intense, poetic, and erotic, Generation 14 is a serious and vivid reflection on repression and the fragility of freedoms, and a dazzlingly imaginative political satire.
“Priya Sarukkai Chabria is remarkable both as poet and novelist and her twin aspects are clearly evident in Generation 14, for while the book is, on the one hand, a piece of ambitious and inventive science-fiction about cloning and control, it is, also, most importantly, concerned with the poetry of belonging, selfhood and commitment. The scenes are vividly visualised and carried through at a convincing pace. Chabria depicts a violent world out of which revolutionary forces emerge out of history to round out a new world that is an echo of the lost, awakening the new to a deeper, more humane consciousness.” — George Szirtes, winner of the T.S. Eliot Prize