Like his great, great uncle, the early geneticist Gregor Mendel, Dr. Benedict Lambert is struggling to unlock the secrets of heredity. But Benedict’s mission is particularly urgent and particularly personal, for he is afflicted with achondroplasiahe’s a dwarf. He’s also a man desperate for love. And when he finds it in the form of Jeansimple and shyhe stumbles upon an opportunity to correct the injustice of his own capricious genes.
As intelligent as it is entertaining, this witty and surprisingly erotic novel reveals the beauty and drama of scientific inquiry as it informs us of the simple passions against which even the most brilliant mind is rendered powerless.
Simon Mawer earned a graduate degree in zoology from Oxford University. He is the author of four previous books published in England, including Chimera, which won the McKitterick prize for a first novel. He lives and teaches in Rome.
“A grand scientific adventure and a tragic human love story … as idiosyncratic and mysterious in its own way as the first gene.” —The Philadelphia Inquirer
“An extraordinary novel, a work of history, science, pure prose, and pervasiv, stunning irony. “Simon Mawer writes beautifully, and the pleasure of his novel comes from the chance to watch him consider the mystery of the world, to report on the clarity with which nature speaks to us.” —The New York Times Book Review
“Furious, tener, and wittily erudite.” —The New Yorker