Fiction Short Take: A Perfect Life – Eileen Pollack

Pollack is on the faculty of the University of Michigan’s MFA writing program. Her nonfiction book on women in science, The Only Woman in the Room: Why Science is Still a Boys’ Club, was published late last year and serves as an interesting background to this new novel about a young scientist studying a neurodegenerative disorder which killed her mother and might also kill her and her sister.

Andrea Barrett endorses it saying, “Like Richard Powers’ The Gold Bug Variations and Allegra Goodman’s Intuition, Eileen Pollack’s compelling novel offers an intimate portrait of scientists engaged in research with the potential to change all our lives–and equally engaged in relationships that change their own lives.”

Good advance reviews with coverage already slated in the NYTBR.

“What knowledge should we have, what knowledge do we really want, and how should that knowledge shape the choices we make in our lives? Pollack expertly and sensitively focuses on the nuances of ambivalence and on the human dilemma of what to do in the complex ethical situations that arise from genetic research.”
Kirkus Reviews

“In her third novel, Pollack delivers an absorbing genetic mystery that is couched in a complicated love story and a tale of survival. Jane Weiss, a researcher at MIT, is on a tireless hunt after the genetic marker for a neurodegenerative disease (a thinly veiled fictionalization of Huntington’s disease called Valentine’s chorea) that killed her mother and now looms over her own life and that of her sister. Fear and dread drive her relentless work so that there’s little time for romance-until she crosses paths with a man who also happens to be at risk for the disease….When she’s surprised by love–and certain discoveries in the lab–she must grapple with what it means to live and love fully in the face of risk and loss.”
— Publishers Weekly

A Perfect Life (9780062419170) by Eileen Pollack. $26.99 hardcover. $26.99 hardcover. 5/10/16 on sale.

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