The Family Gene: A Mission to Turn My Deadly Inheritance into a Hopeful Future

The Family Gene: A Mission to Turn My Deadly Inheritance into a Hopeful Future

by Joselin Linder


View All Available Formats & Editions
Eligible for FREE SHIPPING
  • Want it by Monday, September 24?   Order by 12:00 PM Eastern and choose Expedited Shipping at checkout.
    Same Day shipping in Manhattan. 
    See Details


The Family Gene: A Mission to Turn My Deadly Inheritance into a Hopeful Future by Joselin Linder

A riveting medical mystery about a young woman’s quest to uncover the truth about her likely fatal genetic disorder that opens a window onto the exploding field of genomic medicine

When Joselin Linder was in her twenties her legs suddenly started to swell. After years of misdiagnoses, doctors discovered a deadly blockage in her liver. Struggling to find  an explanation for her unusual condition, Joselin compared the medical chart of her father—who had died from a mysterious disease, ten years prior—with that of an uncle who had died under similarly strange circumstances. Delving further into the past, she discovered that her great-grandmother had displayed symptoms similar to hers before her death. Clearly, this was more than a fluke.

Setting out to build a more complete picture of the illness that haunted her family, Joselin approached Dr. Christine Seidman, the head of a group of world-class genetic researchers at Harvard Medical School, for help. Dr. Seidman had been working on her family’s case for twenty years and had finally confirmed that fourteen of Joselin’s relatives carried something called a private mutation—meaning that they were the first known people to experience the baffling symptoms of a brand new genetic mutation. Here, Joselin tells the story of their gene: the lives it claimed and the future of genomic medicine with the potential to save those that remain. 

Digging into family records and medical history, conducting interviews with relatives and friends, and reflecting on her own experiences with the Harvard doctor, Joselin pieces together the lineage of this deadly gene to write a gripping and unforgettable exploration of family, history, and love. A compelling chronicle of survival and perseverance, The Family Gene is an important story of a young woman reckoning with her father’s death, her own mortality, and her ethical obligations to herself and those closest to her.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062378910
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 06/12/2018
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 322,237
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Joselin Linder is a regular contributor to the NEW YORK POST, whose work has also been featured on THIS AMERICAN LIFE, MORNING EDITION and LIFE OF THE LAW. She spoke at the TEDX GOWANUS event in Brooklyn in 2014, presenting for the first time on the subject of her family gene and the deadly illness to which it leads. Exclusive to just fourteen people, the story of the gene will be told in Linder’s new book, THE FAMILY GENE, coming out in 2017. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two dogs.

Khristine Hvam has won several AudioFile Earphones Awards, placed three times as a finalist for the prestigous Audie Award, and won the Audie Award for Best Narration in 2012 and 2013. She studied acting for the theater and film, and her voice can be heard in Pokemon, World of Warcraft, and in various television and radio commercials.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

The Family Gene: A Mission to Turn My Deadly Inheritance into a Hopeful Future 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous 2 days ago
I just got it today and just finished it. Could hardly put it down. Even if I didn't have a child with a genetic disorder it would still be a fascinating read. When a writer can explain intricate science concepts and tug at your heartstrings at the same time, that's talent!
Nicole1978 More than 1 year ago
This riveting page turner manages to be laugh out loud hilarious while packing a serious emotional wallop. Linder deftly weaves accessible genetics lessons throughout her compelling memoir without ever becoming dull or dry. Her humor provides crucial levity to what could be a very heavy story and makes for an incredibly entertaining and educational read that's both unique and highly relatable. I cannot recommend this book highly enough.
Alex DiFrancesco More than 1 year ago
This book is part medical mystery, part memoir, and all page-turner. Joselin Linder writes with such obvious skill, humor, and talent. Her thoughts on the life-threatening genetic mutation that her family is a founder population for and life in general make this one-of-a-kind book even more fascinating and readable. It's an amazing story, and in the hands of a brilliant writer like Linder, the science and medicine of it come to life with wit and humor and kindness.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Joselin Linder's “The Family Gene” is the incredibly moving story of one woman's quest to understand the deadly genetic disease that has plagued her family for several generations. But, in spite of its tragic subject-matter, this book is ultimately about hope. As a writer, reporter, and self-professed science-nerd, Linder shares both personal and family stories generously, while simultaneously chronicling the decades long search of medical professionals struggling to understand and treat her family's mysterious gene. She follows the manifestations of the disease's strange and varied symptoms as far back as her great-grandmother Mae, sharing her family's oral history, medical records, even entries from the journal of her father, a doctor himself, who struggled tirelessly to understand this mysterious condition that was taking his own life. This book is a complete page turner, and made me laugh as well as cry. It is a fascinating journey. Don't miss it!
RobRoskopp_ More than 1 year ago
Great read! I was impressed with how she wove the narrative with the science. it was a really interesting topic and I now know that I have over 37 trillion cells! I would recommend it to anyone!