by Eduardo Urzaiz
edited by Sarah A. Buck Kachaluba, Aaron Dziubinskyj and Sarah Buck Kachaluba
University of Wisconsin Press, 2016
eISBN: 978-0-299-30688-5 | Paper: 978-0-299-30684-7
Library of Congress Classification PQ7297.U78E813 2016
Dewey Decimal Classification 863.62

A little-known gem of utopian/dystopian fiction published in 1919 tells

the story of a eugenically engineered society of the future.

It is the year 2218. In "Villautopia," the capital of a Central American nation, the

state selects young, biologically desirable citizens to act as breeders. Embryos

are implanted in males to increase a flagging population rate, and the offspring

are raised in state facilities until old enough to choose their own, nonnuclear

families. Sterilization of children with mental or physical abnormalities further

ensures the purity of the gene pool.

Written two years before Yevgeny Zamyatin's We and twelve years before

Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, Eugenia recounts the story of Ernesto, who at age twenty-three is selected as a breeder. Celiana, his thirty-eight-year-old lover

and an accomplished scholar, is deemed unfit for reproduction. To cope with

her feelings of guilt and hopelessness, she increasingly turns to marijuana, and

her scholarly productivity declines. Meanwhile Ernesto falls in love with a fellow

breeder, a young woman named Eugenia—but the life they ultimately choose is

not quite what the state had envisioned.

Taking up important challenges of modern society—population growth,

reproductive behavior and technologies, experimentation with gender roles,

and changes in family dynamics—Eugenia is published here in English for the

first time. Sarah A. Buck Kachaluba and Aaron Dziubinskyj provide a critical

apparatus helping readers to understand the novel's literary genesis and genealogy

as well as its historical context. Arising from its twentieth-century origins, yet

remarkably contemporary, Eugenia is a treasure of speculative fiction.

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