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When genetics can predict how we may die, how then do we decide how to live?

When genetics can predict how we may die, how then do we decide how to live?

In Pretty Is What Changes, Jessica Queller journeys to the place where the cutting edge of biotechnology meets real life and real patients. Eleven months after her mother succumbed to cancer, Queller had herself tested for the BRCA “breast cancer” gene mutation. The results came back virulently positive, putting her at a terrifyingly elevated risk of developing breast cancer before the age of fifty and ovarian cancer in her lifetime.

Thirty-five, unattached, and yearning for marriage and a family of her own, she faced an agonizing choice: a lifetime of vigilant screenings and a commitment to fight the disease when caught, or its radical alternative—a prophylactic double mastectomy that would effectively restore life to her, even as it would challenge her most closely held beliefs about body image, identity, and sexuality.

Informed, courageous, and armed with wit and style, Queller takes us on an odyssey from the frontiers of science to the private interiors of a woman’s life. Without flinching, she answers a question we may one day face for ourselves: if genes can map our fate and their dark knowledge is offered to us, will we willingly trade innocence for the information that could save our lives?

Reviews

“Jessica Queller gives us a warm, chilling, unflinching look at her personal journey of survival with style. The ending will surprise you. Her prescience is astounding. Her courage is inspirational. Brava Jessica!”

–Marisa Acocella Marchetto, author of Cancer Vixen

“By turns inspiring, sorrowful and profoundly moving, Queller’s sense of humor and grace transform the most harrowing of situations into a riveting and heartfelt memoir.”

--Kirkus Reviews

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Formats & editions

  • EBook

    9781742747507

    January 1, 2012

    Random House Australia

    256 pages

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  • Trade Paperback

    9781741666328

    May 1, 2008

    Vintage Australia

    256 pages

    RRP $34.99

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