Wednesday, May 18

Harvard Book Store Presents (Past Events)Special Events Archive

Siddhartha Mukherjee

THIS EVENT IS SOLD OUT

Siddhartha Mukherjee discusses The Gene: An Intimate History

in conversation with HENRY LOUIS GATES, JR.

This event includes a book signing.

This event is SOLD OUT – info at Harvard.com. Unable to attend? Order the book(s) or pre-order a signed copy from Harvard Book Store. No Brattle Passes.

Harvard Book Store welcomes Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Emperor of All MaladiesSIDDARTHA MUKHERJEE and renowned Harvard professor and author HENRY LOUIS GATES, JR. for a discussion of Mukherjee’s latest book, The Gene: An Intimate History—a magnificent history of the gene and a response to the defining question of the future: What becomes of being human when we learn to “read” and “write” our own genetic information?

About The Gene

THE GENE, by Siddhartha MukherjeeThe extraordinary Siddhartha Mukherjee has a written a biography of the gene as deft, brilliant, and illuminating as his extraordinarily successful biography of cancer. Weaving science, social history, and personal narrative to tell us the story of one of the most important conceptual breakthroughs of modern times, Mukherjee animates the quest to understand human heredity and its surprising influence on our lives, personalities, identities, fates, and choices.

Throughout the narrative, the story of Mukherjee’s own family—with its tragic and bewildering history of mental illness—cuts like a bright, red line, reminding us of the many questions that hang over our ability to translate the science of genetics from the laboratory to the real world. In superb prose and with an instinct for the dramatic scene, he describes the centuries of research and experimentation—from Aristotle and Pythagoras to Mendel and Darwin, from Boveri and Morgan to Crick, Watson and Franklin, all the way through the revolutionary twenty-first century innovators who mapped the human genome.

As The New Yorker said of The Emperor of All Maladies, “It’s hard to think of many books for a general audience that have rendered any area of modern science and technology with such intelligence, accessibility, and compassion. . . . An extraordinary achievement.” Riveting, revelatory, and magisterial history of a scientific idea coming to life, and an essential preparation for the moral complexity introduced by our ability to create or “write” the human genome, The Gene is a must-read for everyone concerned about the definition and future of humanity. This is the most crucial science of our time, intimately explained by a master.

Praise

“This is perhaps the greatest detective story ever told—a millennia-long search, led by a thousand explorers, from Aristotle to Mendel to Francis Collins, for the question marks at the center of every living cell. Like The Emperor of All Maladies, The Gene is prodigious, sweeping, and ultimately transcendent. If you’re interested in what it means to be human, today and in the tomorrows to come, you must read this book.” —Anthony Doerr, author of All the Light We Cannot See

“Mukherjee deftly relates the basic scientific facts about the way genes are believed to function, while making clear the aspects of genetics that remain unknown. He offers insight into both the scientific process and the sociology of science. . . . By relating familial information, Mukherjee grounds the abstract in the personal to add power and poignancy to his excellent narrative.” —Publishers Weekly


Henry Louis Gates, Jr.Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Henry Louis Gates, Jr., is the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and director of the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and American Research at Harvard University. He is the author of 16 books, including Life Upon These Shores: Looking at African American History, 1513–2008 and Tradition and the Black Atlantic, and has made 12 documentaries, including Finding Your RootsBlack in Latin America, and Looking for Lincoln. He is also the editor-in-chief of The Root, a daily online magazine. He is the recipient of 51 honorary degrees and numerous awards. In 1981, he was a member of the first class awarded “genius grants” by the MacArthur Foundation, and in 1998, he became the first African American scholar to be awarded the National Humanities Medal. He was named to Time’s 25 Most Influential Americans list in 1997, to Ebony’s Power 150 list in 2009, and to Ebony’s Power 100 list in 2010 and 2012. The Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Reader, a collection of Professor Gates’s essays, was published in 2012.

Siddhartha MukherjeeSiddhartha Mukherjee

Siddhartha Mukherjee is the author of The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer, winner of the 2011 Pulitzer Prize. An assistant professor of medicine at Columbia University and a cancer physician, he graduated from Stanford University, University of Oxford, and Harvard Medical School.

Photo Credit: Deborah Feingold