While 32-year-old Russell Stone feels unhappy about the downward trajectory his writing career has taken in the last few years, Thassa Amzwar is literally glowing with exuberance and joy. Described as “the world’s most blissful refugee,” Amzwar serves as the focus of Richard Powers’ latest, stunningly realistic novel. In “Generosity: An Enhancement,” Powers challenges the idea of remaking our identities through pills that suppress memories and natural moods. What makes this novel truly stand out is Powers’ ability to keep the story alive, without resorting to an excess of medical terminology or stereotypes. The Washington Post says:
[Powers’] cerebral new novel offers a chilling examination of the life we’re reengineering with our chromosomes and brain chemistry. Although it’s tempting to call “Generosity” a dystopia about the pharmaceutical future in the tradition of Huxley’s “Brave New World,” Powers sticks so closely to the state of current medical science and popular culture that this isn’t so much a warning as a diagnosis.