The DNA of You and Me (Hardcover)

A Novel

By Andrea Rothman

William Morrow, 9780062857811, 256pp.

Publication Date: March 12, 2019

List Price: 26.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.


“Refreshing...Asks urgent questions about female ambition. Fans of Lab Girl have found a worthy successor.” -- Real Simple

A powerful debut novel—a wonderfully engaging infusion of Lab Girl, The Assistants, and Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine—that pits the ambition of scientific discovery against the siren call of love.

How does smell work? Specifically, how do olfactory sensory neurons reach their targets in the brain, where smell is processed? Justin McKinnon has hired Emily Apell to study that question. What Justin hasn’t told Emily is that two other scientists in the lab, Aeden and Allegra, are working on a very similar topic, and their findings may compete with her research.

Emily was born focused and driven. She’s always been more comfortable staring down the barrel of a microscope than making small talk with strangers. Competition doesn’t scare her. Her special place is the lab, where she analyzes DNA sequences, looking for new genes that might be involved in guiding olfactory neurons to their targets.

To Emily’s great surprise, her rational mind is unsettled by Aeden. As they shift from competitors to colleagues, and then to something more, Emily allows herself to see a future in which she doesn’t end up alone. But when Aeden decides to leave the lab, it becomes clear to Emily that she must make a choice: follow her research or follow her heart.

A sharp, relevant novel that speaks to the ambitions and desires of modern women, The DNA of You and Me explores the evergreen question of career versus family, the irrational sensibility of love, and whether one can be a loner without a diagnostic label.

About the Author

Andrea Rothman was a post-doctoral fellow and subsequent research associate at the Rockefeller University in New York, where she studied the neurobiology of olfaction. She earned her MFA in writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her fiction has appeared in print and online publications such as Lablit, Cleaver Magazine, and Litro Magazine. She lives with her husband and two children in Long Island, New York.

Praise For The DNA of You and Me: A Novel

“Refreshing...Asks urgent questions about female ambition. Fans of Lab Girl have found a worthy successor.”
— Real Simple

“Powerful...a surprisingly literary love story set against the clinical, sterile, and cutthroat environment of an academic research lab.”
— Library Journal (starred review)

“This sharp debut...sets a bittersweet love story within the cut-throat world of academic research, a great pairing [Rothman] explores with heart, smarts, and a lot of furtive sex...[I]t’s Rothman’s aching study of loneliness, heartbreak and forgiveness that resonate.”
— Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“A debut novel by a scientist that makes the lab feel like a real place....The pleasure of this novel lies in Rothman’s sincere, straightforward, unpretentious prose wracked with the loneliness of young love.”
— Kirkus Reviews

“Andrea Rothman’s debut novel is both a fine and necessary accomplishment.   Emily is memorable in this tale of the anguish and splendor of a thoroughly modern woman. We look forward to more from this original and courageous writer.”
— Xu Xi, author of That Man in Our Lives and Habit of a Foreign Sky

“The DNA of You And Me is a gorgeous novel exploring the intersection of love and science.”
— Kimmery Martin, author of The Queen of Hearts

“Rothman’s debut novel is a fierce and eloquent exploration of what it is to be a woman working in STEM - a scientist in the cut-throat world of cutting-edge research and academia....This one’s a powerful literary page-turner.”
— Leah Kaminsky, author of The Waiting Room

“THE DNA OF YOU AND ME is a delightful journey through experiments—both in science and in love. I loved following Emily’s quest to find the perfect strand of DNA, and the perfect boyfriend. You can’t help but root for her!”
— Miriam Parker, author of The Shortest Way Home