Clone Age

Lori B. Andrews, Author Henry Holt & Company $25 (288p) ISBN 978-0-8050-6080-5

In the brave new world of reproductive technology, legal and moral issues sprout as freely as bacteria in a petri dish. A professor at the Chicago-Kent College of Law and director of the Institute for Science, Law and Technology at the Illinois Institute of Technology, Andrews uses first-person accounts of her own legal work and summaries of pertinent news events to explore the burgeoning realm of genetic manipulation. By providing concrete examples of the controversial issues, Andrews personalizes such seemingly remote possibilities as human cloning. In vitro fertilization, egg donation, frozen embryos, surrogate mothers, gender determination and other contemporary biological phenomena are examined with the knowing eye of an attorney on the lookout for legal conundrums: ""If an unmarried woman used donor sperm, could she sue the donor for child support? Could the resulting child, like adoptees in some countries, learn the identity of her donor father?"" As a consultant to courts, doctors and various government agencies, and as a mother (via the old-fashioned method of conception), Andrews takes the reader on an eye-opening tour of laboratories and legal issues. Her writing is lively, informed by references to literature and contemporary events, and her narrative is marked by droll, ironic commentaries. Weaving tales from Dubai to Canada and places in between, Andrews resembles a modern-day Gulliver, alternately astounded, bemused or saddened by each new boundary crossed by the latter-day sciences of reproduction. Agent, Amanda Urban at ICM. (May)