Geonome. Novels that are idea-based can often be preachy and I usually find them annoying as they try to express a point of view especially on social issues. Richard Powers’ finely written new novel, Generosity: An Enhancement, is a satisfying departure from that approach. Protagonist Russell Stone accepts an extra job as a night school teacher, and one of his students, an Algerian named Thassa Amzwar, seems too good to be true. Her personality leads other students to call her Miss Generosity, and her spirit remains optimistic and positive no matter what curves life throws in her direction. Thassa’s individuality attracts the interest of a charismatic genetic engineer who wants to commercialize her natural condition so others can be more like Thassa. Powers presents ideas and issues in ways that are so elegantly done that the literary fiction soars and the messages and possibilities shift in and out of a reader’s mind.
Rating: Four-star (Highly Recommended)