Carrier: Untangling the Danger in My DNA

Overview

When Bonnie J. Rough receives the test results that confirm she is a carrier of the genetic condition hypohidrotic ectodermal dysplasia, or H.E.D., it propels her on a journey deep into her family’s past in the American West.
At first glance, H.E.D. seems only to be a superficial condition: a peculiar facial bone structure, sparse hair, few teeth, and an inability to sweat. But a closer look reveals the source of a lifetime of infections, breathing problems, and drug dependency ...

See more details below
Paperback
$13.62
BN.com price
(Save 14%)$15.95 List Price
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (33) from $1.99   
  • New (12) from $3.14   
  • Used (21) from $1.99   
Carrier: Untangling the Danger in My DNA

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$10.99
BN.com price
(Save 31%)$15.95 List Price

Overview

When Bonnie J. Rough receives the test results that confirm she is a carrier of the genetic condition hypohidrotic ectodermal dysplasia, or H.E.D., it propels her on a journey deep into her family’s past in the American West.
At first glance, H.E.D. seems only to be a superficial condition: a peculiar facial bone structure, sparse hair, few teeth, and an inability to sweat. But a closer look reveals the source of a lifetime of infections, breathing problems, and drug dependency for Bonnie’s grandfather Earl, who suffered from the disorder. After a boyhood as a small-town oddity and an adulthood fraught with disaster, Earl died penniless and alone at the age of 49. Bonnie’s mother was left with an inheritance that included not just the gene for H.E.D., but also the emotional pain that came from witnessing her father’s misery.
As Bonnie and her husband consider becoming parents themselves, their biological legacy haunts every decision. The availability of genetic testing gives them new choices to make, choices more excruciating than any previous generation could have imagined. Ultimately, Carrier is a story of a modern moral crisis, one that reveals the eternal tension between past and future.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Starred Review.

What is so amazing about Rough's struggle with her DNA destiny is not just the impossibly tough choices she faces in planning her own future, but the raw courage she exhibits in dealing with the choices made by the generations before her. A carrier of the rare genetic condition hypohidrotic ectoderm dysphasia, which condemns sufferers to a lifetime of debilitating infections, chronic respiratory ailments, and recurring skin rashes, Rough reports that her grandfather and brother were scarred by the disease, leaving their wives, mothers, and daughters helpless and angry. She reflects on the story of Earl, her brilliant grandfather, who died a penniless drug addict. In alternating chapters, she writes in the voices of Earl and Paula, her mother. These vignettes serve as poignant portrayals of their pain, not simply because of a crippling disease, but also the powerlessness they feel over it. "Should he just bear all of this?" Earl's wife asks Paula. "Yes," she replies, "for us." This is a story that will resonate for anyone who grew up in a family with a relative suffering from a chronic illness or addiction.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Kirkus Reviews
In her debut, Rough explores her family's history with a rare genetic condition and how it has affected her life. The symptoms of hypohidrotic ectodermal dysplasia (HED) include the inability to sweat or produce tears, and other physical traits such as sparse hair, few and strangely shaped teeth and dry, nearly hairless skin. In the X-linked form of the condition, the gene is carried by females and manifests in males. The author's grandfather and brother suffered from the condition. Rough's mother is a carrier, and, as she discovered, so is Rough herself. A large part of this highly personal memoir deals with the author's quest to find out more about her HED-affected grandfather, Earl. He underwent a lifetime of breathing problems and constant infections, aggravated by mucous-membrane problems, and likely a suppressed immune system. He also developed a severe drug addiction brought on by the pain of his illnesses. At one point, he was given shock treatments in a psychiatric hospital; later, his wife divorced him. He eventually died at age 49, broke and alone. The author ably shows how HED devastated Earl's and his family's lives, but the story's effectiveness is compromised by some of Rough's stylistic choices-in particular, the narration of much of the story from Earl's first-person point of view. The author also writes that she re-created conversations and details using "disciplined imagination," an odd designation. Nonetheless, Rough a fine writer with a talent for portraying subtle family dynamics. When she writes as herself, she is often quite moving-particularly when she deals with the possibility of passing HED to her unborn child and her pain as she receives the fatefulgenetic-test results. An uneven but often engaging memoir that provides a much-needed window into how serious genetic conditions affect families.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781582435787
  • Publisher: Counterpoint Press
  • Publication date: 4/27/2010
  • Pages: 324
  • Sales rank: 714,219
  • Product dimensions: 5.64 (w) x 8.28 (h) x 0.83 (d)

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)