Science of happiness information site.Science of happiness

It is rare that the meaning of a novel is in a subtitle, but it happens in the most recent of American Richard Powers book. "An improvement," reads the small wording under the title of Generosity. This is about the development of our lives through science, more specifically, through genetic manipulation carried out by a kind of guru of happiness, the researcher Thomas Kurton.

Kurton, sometimes enlightened, often a charlatan, always a businessman, thinks he has found happiness in the gene of a student of Kabyle origin, Thassa Amzwar. What strikes him about this bright and optimistic young woman is her ability to respond to trauma by the smile. In Algeria, where the minority Kabyle has a hard life, his father was murdered and his mother died of cancer shortly after. Thassa itself has experienced exile in Paris, Montreal and Chicago, setting of the novel abounding.

We meet Thassa in the classroom Russell Stone, a lecturer not too good at trying to teach creative writing to a group of crazy. Thassa surprises everyone, his friends and his teacher, recounting the events of his life in a way so simple and straightforward that it seems beyond human. The secret? "I try not to decide more than God," she said.

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