Generosity (Italian Edition)

Generosity (Italian Edition)

by Richard Powers

NOOK BookItalian-language Edition (eBook - Italian-language Edition)


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Nel corso di scrittura creativa tenuto da Russell Stone a Chicago compare un giorno una giovane rifugiata algerina dalla presenza inquietantemente luminosa. Thassa Amzwar, scampata agli orrori della guerra civile nel suo Paese, irradia una contagiosa e costante joie de vivre, tanto da essere ribattezzata Miss Generosity. La sua vitalità, la sua deliziosa esuberanza non mancano di turbare e incuriosire il malinconico Russell che comincia a studiare attentamente il caso. Forse c'è una spiegazione scientifica, forse si tratta di un caso rarissimo di ipertimia, una forma di euforia ininterrotta. Thomas Kurton, scienziato di successo ma anche imprenditore senza scrupoli, dichiara di avere finalmente scoperto il gene della felicità. E in un Paese che ha posto la ricerca della felicità tra i suoi valori fondanti l'annuncio si trasforma in una bomba mediatica. Assediata da radio e tv, Thassa non potrà che finire nel più celebre dei talk-show, con esiti a dir poco disastrosi. Finché, schiacciata dal peso di una felicità ormai vissuta come una condanna, Miss Generosity si vedrà costretta a compiere gesti estremi, prima di fuggire da tutto e da tutti.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9788852059230
Publisher: MONDADORI
Publication date: 12/09/2014
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 614 KB

About the Author

Richard Powers is the author of nine novels. The Echo Maker (FSG, 2006) won the National Book Award and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Powers has received a MacArthur Fellowship, a Lannan Literary Award, and the James Fenimore Cooper Prize for Historical Fiction. He lives in Illinois.


Urbana, Illinois

Date of Birth:

June 18, 1957

Place of Birth:

Evanston, Illinois


M.A., University of Illinois, 1979

What People are Saying About This

Powers is better than the best of almost anybody else. --John Leonard, Harper's Magazine

Reading Group Guide

Questions for Discussion
1. Writing and the role of the imagination are central to Generosity. What is creative nonfiction? How does Russell's course -- Creative Nonfiction 14, Sect. RS: Journal and Journey -- relate to the novel you are reading?

2. On page 12 Richard Powers writes, "Blogs, mashups, reality programming, court TV, chat shows, chat rooms, chat cafés, capital campaigns, catalog copy, even war-zone journalism all turn confessional. Feelings are the new facts. Memoir is the new history. Tell-alls are the new news." Do you agree with this analysis? What does it mean for popular culture to be so dominated by "true confessions" and "memoir"? How does this relate to our emphasis on "reality" television? Where does this leave the novel?

3. On page 181 there is a press conference to announce:
Happiness gene identified? Did you think it would evade detection forever? The Alzheimer's gene, the alcoholism gene, the homosexuality gene, the aggression gene, the novelty gene, the fear gene, the stress gene, the xenophobia gene, the criminal-impulse gene, and the fidelity gene have all come and gone. By the time the happiness gene rolls around, even journalists should have long ago learned to hedge their bets.
What does the idea of a happiness gene mean to you? Do you agree with Thomas Kurton when he says, "Why shouldn't we make ourselves better than we are now? We're incomplete. Why leave something as fabulous as life up to chance?" Do you want to reverse the aging process and live forever?

4. Why does Russell's moment of celebrity as a magazine writer end so soon?

5. Why do you think Richard Powers made Thassa Algerian? What did you learn about Algeria from the novel that you didn't know before?

6. Why does John Thornell attack Thassa? What do you think of Russell's reaction to the attack?

7. Does your view of Thomas Kurton change in the course of the novel?

8. What role does the idea of prophecy play in the novel?

9. What is Powers's view of free will? What's your view of our future if genetic determinism prevails?

10. What was your first impression of Thassa? What did you decide was the root of her happiness? And how much did you change your view by the end of the novel?

11. How are Russell and Candace good for each other while also being an unlikely couple? How fair or unfair do you think it is for Candace to be asked not to see Thassa? Did she surprise you by complying, and why do you think she did?

12. Discuss the happiness experiments that Candace tells Russell about on pages 125-27. How do their careers -- his as a writer and hers as a psychotherapist -- shape the way they interpret life's circumstances? Is it easy for you to approach good surprises without worrying, applying the mentality of "A dime's a dime. Grab it when you see it"?

13. Ultimately, what is Tonia's role in Thassa's life?

14. Discuss Thassa's appearance on Oona's television show. What does Thassa's experience with the media say about the way we gather information, and the way identities (of celebrities and regular viewers alike) are manufactured in the age of new technology?

15. Should Thassa have been allowed to sell her eggs? Was Truecyte entitled to a licensing fee? Discuss the need for boundaries between science, medicine, and big business.

16. How did you react to the novel's closing scene? Who did you think was narrating the novel up until that point? Were you surprised by Thassa's final appearance?

17. Who are the novel's most generous characters? Are these also the happiest ones?

18. How would you respond if you tried some of Russell's writing assignments, such as "Find one thing in the last day worth telling a total stranger," or to Candace's suggestion -- "Close your eyes and write a sentence in the air. Use your left hand. Just one sentence. A simple one"?

19. What do you believe about the nature of happiness? Which factor is stronger in determining whether someone will be happy: genetics or generosity? What (or who) brings you the most happiness? Would you be willing to take a pill or participate in genetic-engineering experiments if it meant being happier?

20. Are there themes and ideas in Generosity you recognize from other books by Richard Powers? And in what ways is this novel a departure or different from his other books?

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