Blood Matters | Granta

  • Published: 04/05/2009
  • ISBN: 9781847080783
  • 129x20mm
  • 336 pages

Blood Matters

Masha Gessen

In 2004, genetic testing revealed that Masha Gessen had a mutation that predisposed her to ovarian and breast cancer. As she wrestled with a wrenching personal decision – what to do with such knowledge? – Gessen explored the landscape of this brave new world, speaking with others like her, and with experts including medical researchers, historians and religious thinkers. Blood Matters, a New York Times Notable Book for 2008, is a much needed field guide to this unfa­miliar and unsettling territory, pointing the way towards the radical transfor­mation genetic information is engineering in our sense of who we are and what we might become.

Blood Matters is about far more than Gessen's own story. She writes energetically ... about the grander context in which her personal drama takes place ... The book's enduring memory is Gessen's intelligence and wit as she's staring down the barrel of a gun

The Scotsman

Gessen argues that in a generation we will discuss our genetic inheritance in the same way that we discuss social class and other environmental influences on character nowadays. It's a superb read

The Times

A brave, passionate and well-written book

Sunday Times

The Author

Masha Gessen is a staff writer at the New Yorker and the author of several books, among them the National Book Award-winning The Future is History and the Samuel Johnson prize-longlisted The Man Without a Face. The recipient of numerous other awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Carnegie Fellowship, Gessen lives in New York City.

More about the author →

From the Same Author

Masha Gessen on

Essays & Memoir | The Online Edition

Surviving Autocracy

Masha Gessen

We knew Trump’s range: government by gesture; obfuscation and lying; self-praise; stoking fear and issuing threats.

Essays & Memoir | The Online Edition

After the Olympics Left

Various Contributors

‘Once I came home at the end of August, it was as if nothing had ever happened. Indeed, nothing had.‘

Essays & Memoir | The Online Edition


Masha Gessen

‘With a disease as unpredictable as cancer, the opportunity to blame an actual person is an unexpected temptation.’