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Science Genetics & Genomics

The Juggler's Children

A Journey into Family, Legend and the Genes that Bind Us

by (author) Carolyn Abraham

Random House of Canada
Initial publish date
Apr 2014
Genetics & Genomics, Genealogy & Heraldry, Science & Technology
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2014
    List Price

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Carolyn Abraham explores the stunning power and ethical pitfalls of using genetic tests to answer questions of genealogy--by cracking the genome of her own family. 
     Recently, tens of thousands of people have been drawn to mail-order DNA tests to learn about their family roots. Abraham investigates whether this burgeoning new science can help solve 2 mysteries that have haunted her multi-racial family for more than a century. Both hinge on her enigmatic great-grandfathers--a hero who died young and a scoundrel who disappeared. Can the DNA they left behind reveal their stories from beyond the grave?

About the author


  • Long-listed, RBC Taylor Prize

Contributor Notes

CAROLYN ABRAHAM is the award-winning author of Possessing Genius: The Bizarre Odyssey of Einstein's Brain. Abraham appears often as an on-air television commentator on medical issues, wrote the chapter on the SARS outbreak in Canada at the request of the WHO, co-wrote the NFB production entitled DNA and Dollars and appeared in the National Geographic documentary on Einstein's brain that was broadcast in 14 countries. The author lives in Toronto, ON.

Editorial Reviews

FINALIST 2013 – Governor General’s Literary Award for Non-Fiction
FINALIST 2014 – BC National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction
LONGLISTED 2014 – RBC Taylor Prize

"Abraham's family is unusual, but so is her virtuosity as a writer; she's probing, intelligent, dryly funny but enough of a writer's writer that she can make the awkward process of DNA swabbing seem magisterial.... Abraham's book is riveting not just because of its superb writing and suspenseful storyline, but because, in the end, it's not just about her, it's about us."
—Emily Donaldson, The Globe and Mail
"Abraham writes with ease and humour, undaunted by com¬plexity, and the narrative unfolds like a detective story."
—Literary Review of Canada
"A fascinating tale of truth, lies, perception and, ultimately, family."
—Winnipeg Free Press

Other titles by Carolyn Abraham