New Richard Powers Novel Has Title and Release Date

FSG has recently announced a spate of titles for fall 2009. Among the bunch is Richard Power’s new novel, Generosity: An Enhancement, which is set for release in October. As soon as I determine any additional information, I will certainly report it here.

And if you somehow missed out on the comprehensive roundtable discussion of Powers’s last novel, The Echo Maker (which included a contribution from Powers himself), you can revisit the conversation here.

[12/17 UPDATE: I’ve been informed by several sources that the new novel is about the discovery of a happiness gene, which certainly places Power’s recent essay on the human genome in an interesting light. More info as I uncover it.]

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  1. […] New Richard Powers Novel Has Title and Release Date : Edward Champion’s Reluctant Habits "FSG has recently announced a spate of titles for fall 2009. Among the bunch is Richard Power’s new novel, Generosity: An Enhancement, which is set for release in October. As soon as I determine any additional information, I will certainly report it here." […]

  2. The new information :

    When Chicagoan Russell Stone finds himself teaching a Creative Nonfiction class, he encounters a young Algerian woman with a disturbingly luminous presence. Thassadit Amzwar’s blissful exuberance both entrances and puzzles the melancholic Russell. How can this refugee from perpetual terror be so happy? Won’t someone so open and alive come to serious harm? Wondering how to protect her, Russell researches her war-torn country and skims through popular happiness manuals. Might her condition be hyperthymia? Hypomania? Russell’s amateur enquiries lead him to college counselor Candace Weld, who also falls under Thassa’s spell. Dubbed Miss Generosity by her classmates, Thassa’s joyful personality comes to the attention of the notorious geneticist and advocate for genomic enhancement, Thomas Kurton, whose research leads him to announce the genotype for happiness.

    Russell and Candace, now lovers, fail to protect Thassa from the growing media circus. Thassa’s congenital optimism is soon severely tested. Devoured by the public as a living prophecy, her genetic secret will transform both Russell and Kurton, as well as the country at large.

    What will happen to life when science identifies the genetic basis of happiness? Who will own the patent? Do we dare revise our own temperaments? Funny, fast, and finally magical, Generosity celebrates both science and the freed imagination. In his most exuberant book yet, Richard Powers asks us to consider the big questions facing humankind as we begin to rewrite our own existence.

  3. […] Books, Street Fashion, and Jewelry. Yes, yes, I know: there are great books coming this year (Powers’s got one coming late in the year), but please believe me—no other book will come close to this one. Not even remotely close. (for […]

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