Rahul Sharma (Editor)

Generosity: An Enhancement

Updated on
Share on FacebookTweet on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Reddit
Covid-19
7/101 Votes Alchetron
7
1 Ratings
100
90
80
71
60
50
40
30
20
10
Rate This

Rate This

Country  United States
Media type  Print (hardback)
ISBN  978-0-374-16114-9
Author  Richard Powers
3.5/5 Goodreads

Language  English
Pages  296
Originally published  2009
Page count  296
Generosity: An Enhancement t3gstaticcomimagesqtbnANd9GcRCfbnwfiOSBRHRw
Similar  The Echo Maker, Plowing the Dark, Galatea 22, Operation Wandering Soul, The Gold Bug Variations

Generosity an enhancement m4v


Generosity: An Enhancement is the tenth novel by American author Richard Powers. Like other Powers novels it is idea-driven, strongly focusing on social alienation and scientific progress. The novel employs metafiction, including real-time intrusions by the narrator who explicitly sets the novel in a "parallel" Chicago.

Contents

Generosity tells the story of Thassadit "Thassa" Amzwar, an Algerian refugee who seemingly has overwhelming happiness ("hyperthymia") written in her genes, and the confounding effects she has on those around her, both sincere and exploitive.

Plot summary

Thassa is taking a class in creative non-fiction writing taught by Russell Stone. Her boundless happiness leads the class to dub her "Miss Generosity", but puzzles and disturbs Stone, who discusses Thassa with a college counselor, Candace Weld.

A classmate tries to rape Thassa one evening, she cheerfully talks him out of it, and he turns himself in for attempted rape. Police questioning leads to news of Thassa's "condition" becoming known, and her story becomes an Internet hit. A media circus and a scientific frenzy, led by geneticist Thomas Kurton, converge on her. Stone and Weld become lovers.

Thassa agrees to be studied by Kurton and makes an appearance on "Oona" (a fictionalized Oprah). She then disappears, having returned home.

Major characters

Russell Stone is a minor magazine editor, moonlighting as a writing instructor at the (fictional) Mesquakie College of Art. He suffers from writer's block. He is described by at least one character as "hapless."

Thassadit "Thassa" Amzwar is a student in his class who is perpetually upbeat despite growing up through the horrors of the Algerian Civil War. Her pseudonym in Kurton's study is "Jen", which is what she is known as on the Internet.

Thomas Kurton is the charismatic entrepreneur behind Truecyte, a genetics lab. He thinks he can find a "happiness" gene.

Candace Weld is a school psychologist. She is skeptical regarding a "happiness" gene.

Tonia Schiff is the host of a popular science show called Over The Limit.

Reception

The Denver Post called it Powers's most accessible work to date. Michael Durda in The New York Review of Books cites Powers alongside Dostoevsky and Dickens in his review. The Telegraph, while generally favorable, criticized the novel's postmodernism, saying "the novel’s cleverest trick is also what sucks its heart out."

As it turns out, his new novel, “Generosity,” is an excellent introduction to Powers’s work, a lighter, leaner treatment of his favorite themes and techniques.

References

Generosity: An Enhancement Wikipedia


Similar Topics
Plowing the Dark
The Echo Maker
The Gold Bug Variations
Topics
 
B
i
Link
H2
L