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"Complicated, cool and vulnerable at the same time...you can't help falling for Pagan Kennedy's characters."--Stephen Dubner, The New York TimesOnce a brilliant historian with a promising academic future, Win Duncan is at a crossroads in his career when he is mysteriously summoned by Litminov, a wild but brilliant chemist from his college days. Litminov has made millions since, and has bought a pharmaceutical company solely to develop MEM, an experimental drug that gives one the ability to recall life's best memories with crystal clarity. Duncan becomes a beta tester and loses himself to the most delicious moments of his past--those precious few years with his mother who died tragically when he was just a child; ecstatic sex with his wife when they first fell in love--until he discovers the dark side effects of a drug that turns the past into pornography and renders the present useless.A proven master of underground lit, beat fiction and narrative non-fiction, Pagan Kennedy takes on America's obsession with the idealized past with freshness, wit, and an uncanny ability to measure the pulse of post-modern culture. Pagan Kennedy is the author of seven books. The most recent, Black Livingstone, was a New York Times Notable Book and a winner of the Massachusetts Book Award. Her novel Spinsters won a Barnes & Noble Discover Award and was shortlisted for the Orange Prize, Britain's most prestigious literary award. Her articles appear regularly in The New York Times Magazine, The Nation, Spin, and Salon.
Is personalized medicine--what some scientists call genetic medicine--a pipe dream or a panacea? Francis Collins, current director of the National Institutes of Health and director of the Human Genome Project, considers this new era "the greatest revolution since Leonardo," while Nobel Laureate Leland Hartwell compares personalized medicine to a train that has not yet left the station--"a very slow train with a very long way to go . . . before we arrive at our destination."There is no denying that new technology, which has triggered an explosion of scientific information, is ushering in a revolution in medicine--for specialists, general practitioners and the public. Anyone can spit in a cup and, for a small fee, learn about his or her individual genetic make-up. But how useful is this information, really, to us or to our doctors? What's more, how much do we truly want to know--and have others know--about our possible destiny? There is more than we can imagine at stake.In An Immense New Power to Heal, authors Lee Gutkind and Pagan Kennedy delve into the personal side of personalized medicine and offer the physician's perspective and the patient's experience through intimate narratives and case studies. They also offer an intriguing background of the personalized medicine movement including the fascinating personalities of the key scientists involved as well as a glimpse into the in-fighting that accompanies any race for a scientific breakthrough. The result is a highly engaging, lively, and provocative discussion about this revolution in health care, and most importantly, what it really means for patients now and in the future.