HIS BROTHER'S KEEPER: A Story from the Edge of Medicine

Jonathan Weiner, Author . Ecco $26.95 (356p) ISBN 978-0-06-001007-2

At the heart of this report from the front lines of gene therapy and other regenerative medicine techniques lies a simple, heartbreaking question: "What would you do to save your brother's life?" When Stephen Heywood, a 29-year-old carpenter, was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (also known as Lou Gehrig's disease), his older brother, Jaime, launched his own research project to search for a cure. It was the late 1990s, shortly after scientists had cloned a living creature for the first time. So when Jamie told a friend about research demonstrating that the DNA of every ALS victim was missing a protein, his response ("Why don't you just put the damn protein back?") seemed wildly optimistic but not entirely impossible—if they could figure out how to do it in time. Weiner (The Beak of the Finch ) keeps the actual science to a minimum. The story's power derives from attention to small, human details, like Stephen's first symptoms of losing strength in his fingers. The emotional register is also strong; Weiner spends so much time with the Heywoods that they begin to refer to him as one of the family, and his closeness allows him to effectively contrast their handling of Stephen's condition to his own family's reaction to his mother's bout with a similar nerve-death disease. Weiner can't give readers a happy ending for Stephen, but he can—and does—offer a powerful account of equal parts ambition and hope. (Mar.)

Forecast: Weiner's The Beak of the Finch won the Pulitzer and his Time, Love, Memory won the NBCC Award. Also, Weiner has a five-city tour plus additional lecture tie-ins, as well as other national media planned.

Reviewed on: 03/01/2004
Release date: 03/01/2004
Show other formats
FORMATS
Ebook - 384 pages - 978-0-06-115659-5
Ebook - 384 pages - 978-0-06-176035-8
Hardcover - 368 pages - 978-0-00-714218-7
Open Ebook - 384 pages - 978-0-06-078054-8
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 384 pages - 978-0-06-078046-3
Paperback - 356 pages - 978-0-06-001008-9
Hardcover - 360 pages - 978-0-00-719264-9
Hardcover - 356 pages - 978-0-00-714219-4
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.