Damaged People is not your mother’s family saga.
Like The Corrections, it is literary, edgy and character-based. Like We Are Not Ourselves, it is a moving multi-generational novel. Unlike them, however, Damaged People has a premise founded in cutting-edge science: that powerful environmental conditions routinely leave imprints in our genetic material, short-circuiting evolution and passing along new traits in a single generation.
Damaged People tells of three generations of a New York City family wounded by a single tragedy that ricochets from person to person:
The young father, Joe, who, out of his mind with grief when his wife dies unexpectedly from a blood clot after giving birth, cannot bear to touch his newborn son.
The young boy himself, who grows into a titan of finance, wildly successful in business but ruthless and paranoid with people.
Then there’s Russ’ only son, Jack, who is overcome with an anxiety he cannot understand or resolve, but one that seems only to have been passed on from his father’s early experience.