“A beautifully ingenious, funny, brilliantly intelligent, and moving tale of very human scientists. A splendid novel.”—Iris Murdoch
At the age of 68, distinguished Princeton science professor Max Weiss is bribed into taking an early retirement. Frustratingly aware that his best years are not yet behind him, Weiss devises an inventive revenge in the form of “Dr. Diana Skordylis”—a pseudonym for a partnership among Weiss and three aging colleagues, each with an ax to grind against the scientific community. What the Skordylis group doesn’t anticipate, however, is the unbridled success of their venture: the discovery of PCR, one of the most important breakthroughs in contemporary biomedical science. Professional jealousy soon threatens Diana Skordylis’s life. As the force of ego tests the bonds of collaboration, the reader is treated to a fascinating glimpse inside the worlds of academia and scientific enterprise.
“A subtle meditation on scientific personality . . . An odd blend of literature, philosophy, and science writing, as creative as any organic potpourri that Djerassi might have mixed up in his laboratory.”—The Washington Post
“This is a novel of ideas, quite literally, yet it flashes with wit and is often quite charming, thanks to well-drawn characters at ease with mind-boggling concepts who talk about them in a down-to-earth way.”—San Francisco Chronicle
Carl Djerassi was an internationally renowned scientist whose books include the novel Marx, Deceased; his autobiography The Pill, Pygmy Chimps, and Degas’ Horse; as well as essays, poetry, short-story collections, and two plays. A professor of chemistry at Stanford University, he served as a member of the… More about Carl Djerassi