Overview - Anne Hatley is a twenty-five-year-old spitfire from the South, born with a genetic mutation: She has only one leg and walks with a computerized limb. Looking for an escape from the drudgery of work and the fiance who bores and irritates her more than makes her happy, Anne hopes to make easy money off her genes by accepting an invitation from a research colony in Cold Spring Harbor, New York. Read more...
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More About The Colony by Jillian Weise
Anne Hatley is a twenty-five-year-old spitfire from the South, born with a genetic mutation: She has only one leg and walks with a computerized limb. Looking for an escape from the drudgery of work and the fiance who bores and irritates her more than makes her happy, Anne hopes to make easy money off her genes by accepting an invitation from a research colony in Cold Spring Harbor, New York. Scientists there--DNA pioneer James D. Watson among them--are looking to develop a groundbreaking "cure" and make Anne the first patient to generate a new leg. Anne feels fine the way she is. But after years of casual cruelty at the hands of her peers, and three months of observation by callous doctors playing on her every insecurity, she capitulates. While in residence, Anne drifts into a relationship with the rakish Nick, carrier of the "suicide gene"; becomes friends with Charles Darwin, who inexplicably pops up for chats when she's distressed; and comes to terms with her first love, a married man she's nicknamed "Old Faithful." Meanwhile, she questions what it means to change from one physical form to another and becomes increasingly uncomfortable with the societal pressure to do so.
- ISBN-13: 9781593762674
- ISBN-10: 1593762674
- Publisher: Soft Skull Press
- Publish Date: February 2010
- Page Count: 338
Books > Fiction > Literary
Publishers Weekly Reviews
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
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Ambitious, provocative, and wildly inventive, this debut novel from Texan poet Weise features sharp North Carolinian Anne Hatley, born with a genetic mutation that stunted her bone growth and left her with just one leg. In 2015, 25-year-old Anne (sporting a robotic limb) joins four others with gene deficiencies at the Colony, a Long Island research station, where for three months the five colonists will be paid to stay on site and provide stem cells for research efforts headed by geneticist Engel Deeter (whom Anne refers to as “The Gee”). With her free time, Anne keeps in touch with her boyfriend back home in Durham, gets to know her fellow colonists (including a country-singing bartender with the suicide gene), and wonders over the possibility of new treatments—in particular, her ambivalence over the opportunity to grow a flesh-and-bone leg. Though wry and funny, with thoughtful points about the relationship between modern-day gene therapy and 19th-century eugenics, Weise’s narrator often keeps the reader at a distance, and the cleverly fragmented structure falters under the weight of its denouement. (Mar.)