The Colony

The Colony

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by Jillian Weise
     
 

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Anne Hatley is a sharp-witted and acerbic young teacher from the South, in need of a reprieve from the drudgery of work and an increasingly tedious relationship. She accepts an invitation to the nation’s largest research colony, where scientists—DNA pioneer James D. Watson among them—hope to “cure” Anne of a rare gene that affects her

Overview

Anne Hatley is a sharp-witted and acerbic young teacher from the South, in need of a reprieve from the drudgery of work and an increasingly tedious relationship. She accepts an invitation to the nation’s largest research colony, where scientists—DNA pioneer James D. Watson among them—hope to “cure” Anne of a rare gene that affects her bone growth: She is missing a leg and walks with a prosthesis. Anne feels fine the way she is, and she strives to maintain her resolve under pressure from her peers and from doctors eager to pioneer an experimental procedure, which would make her the first patient to generate a new leg. Meanwhile, she falls into a reluctant romance with the rakish Nick, possessor of the “suicide gene”; befriends Charles Darwin, who is on site digging through the eugenics archive; and attempts to come to terms with her first love.

The Colony is the story of one young woman struggling to accept who she is, and who she will become. But it is also a novel that mines some of the most polarizing issues of our time—among them, medical ethics, body image, and genetic engineering.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
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.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781593762674
Publisher:
Soft Skull Press, Inc.
Publication date:
02/16/2010
Pages:
352
Product dimensions:
5.66(w) x 8.26(h) x 0.98(d)

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The Colony 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
And then it got weirder....I persevered, but after sticking with it for 300 pages it doesn't even have an ending. I guess I'm not deep enough to "get it". Maybe there's a gene therapy for that.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago