The Body Factory
From the First Prosthetics to the Augmented Human
Héloïse Chochois, and translated by Kendra Boileau
An American Library Association Best Graphic Novel for Adults (2021)
A New York Public Library “Must-Read” Comic“This surprisingly delightful and empathetic examination offers an exemplar in the graphic medicine genre.”
A young man has a horrible motorcycle accident. He wakes up in the hospital to discover that one of his arms has been amputated. Then a portrait on the wall of his hospital room begins to speak to him. The subject of the painting introduces himself as Ambroise Paré, the French barber-surgeon who revolutionized the art of amputation. From this wonderfully absurd premise, the two begin an imaginary conversation that takes them through a sweeping history of surgical amputation, from the Stone Age to the Space Age. Unencumbered by pathos or didacticism, this graphic novel explores the world of amputation, revealing fascinating details about famous amputees throughout history, the invention of the tourniquet, phantom limb syndrome, types of prostheses, and transhumanist technologies.
Playfully illustrated and seriously funny, The Body Factory is sure to delight anyone interested in the history and future of medicine and how we repair—and even enhance—the body.
“This surprisingly delightful and empathetic examination offers an exemplar in the graphic medicine genre.”
“Charming art and a fascinating (and a little gruesome!) subject. I learned so much—loved it!”
“From Egyptian amputation to transhumanism, this engaging and entertaining exploration of what it means to modify the human body captivates on every page.”
“Medical illustrators and readers seeking a history of evolving healthcare technology will enjoy this work as an entertaining exploration describing modification of the human body.”