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Generosity: An Enhancement by Richard Powers
Generosity revolves around Thassadit Amzwar, a young Algerian woman, who despite a tragic history that claimed her family, manages to be perpetually happy. Her teacher at a Chicago art college, Russell Stone, becomes obsessed with her and her hyperthymia. When Thassa survives an attempted rape by a classmate, Russell mentions her excessive happiness to the media. This gathers the attention of Thomas Kurton, a geneticist who believes her happiness is related to her genes. He tests her DNA and the results send the general populace into a tizzy as they become infatuated with everything related to Thassa and the possibility that they too can attain perpetual happiness. Richard Powers' novel has received mostly positive reviews with the New York Times saying, "Powers is, when he chooses to be, an engaging storyteller (though he would probably wince at the word), and even as he questions the conventions of narrative and character, Generosity gains in momentum and suspense. In the end, he wants to have it both ways, and he comes very close to succeeding."