The One You Get (Paperback)
Portrait of a Family Organism
Dzanc Books, 9781945814327, 320pp.
Publication Date: September 12, 2017
In The One You Get: Portrait of a Family Organism, Jason Tougaw marries neuroscience and family lore to tell his story of growing up gay in 1970s Southern California, raised by hippies who had "dropped out" in the late sixties and couldn't seem to find their way back in. "There's something wrong with our blood," the family mantra ran, "and it affects our brains"--a catchall answer for incidents such as Tougaw's schizophrenic great-grandfather directing traffic in the nude on the Golden Gate Bridge, the author's own dyslexia and hypochondria, and the near-death experience of his notorious jockey grandfather, Ralph Neves. With shades of Oliver Sacks and Susannah Cahalan, this honest and unexpected true story recasts the memoir to answer some of life's big questions: "Where did I come from," "How did I become me," and "What happens when the family dog accidentally overdoses on acid?