The Condition

By Jennifer Haigh
(Harper Perennial, Paperback, 9780060755799, 390pp.)

Publication Date: June 2009

List Price: $14.99*
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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the Fall '09/Winter '10 Reading Group List
“Set in New England, The Condition realistically portrays the story of a family undergoing separation as they face their only daughter Gwen's diagnosis of Turner's syndrome, a condition that prevents puberty from occurring. Twenty years later, the family is shaken when Gwen, now a young adult, falls in love. There are endless possibilities for book club discussion in Haigh's insightfully written novel, in which family ties are both limiting and liberating.”
-- Jane Glaser, Next Chapter Bookshop, Mequon, WI


Description

In the summer of 1976, during their annual retreat on Cape Cod, the McKotch family came apart. Now, twenty years after daughter Gwen was diagnosed with Turner's syndrome--a rare genetic condition that keeps her trapped forever in the body of a child--eminent scientist Frank McKotch is divorced from his pedigreed wife, Paulette. Eldest son Billy, a successful cardiologist, lives a life built on secrets and compromise. His brother Scott awakened from a pot-addled adolescence to a soul-killing job and a regrettable marriage. And Gwen--bright and accomplished but hermetic and emotionally aloof--spurns all social interaction until, well into her thirties, she falls in love for the first time. With compassion and almost painful astuteness, The Condition explores the power of family mythologies--the self-delusions, denials, and inescapable truths that forever bind fathers and mothers and siblings.




About the Author
Jennifer Haigh is the author of the short story collectionNews From Heavenand four critically acclaimed novels: Faith, The Condition, Baker TowersandMrs. Kimble. Her books have won both the PEN/Hemingway Award for debut fiction and thePEN/L.L. Winship Award for work by a New England writer.Her short fiction has been published widely, inThe Atlantic, Granta, The Best American Short Stories 2012, and many other publications. She lives in the Boston area.


Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com

CONVERSATION STARTERS

  1. Discuss the significance of the book's title. What else might it refer to other than Gwen's Turner's syndrome?

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