Mendel’s Dwarf

Simon Mawer. Crown Publishers, New York, 1998.

A novel that weaves science and fiction together in a fine story, ironic, suspenseful, riveting, passionate — and always a good read. Few if any other novels offer such clear explanations of genetics and the molecular biology of DNA, woven seamlessly into the storyline. The narrator, a geneticist who is himself a dwarf, is involved in research on the molecular basis of dwarfism. The story revolves around an impossible, unrequited love which drives remorselessly toward a tragic and cruel conclusion. It is rare that a novel about scientists does as good a job of portraying the ethical dilemmas of modern genetic research.

Dr. George Johnson