From The Washington Post:
Sixteen years after Peter Kramer's “Listening to Prozac,” Richard Powers has heard the alarming implications of treatments that let us buy better moods and personalities. His cerebral new novel offers a chilling examination of the life we're reengineering with our chromosomes and brain chemistry. Although it's tempting to call “Generosity” a dystopia about the pharmaceutical future in the tradition of Huxley's “Brave New World,” Powers sticks so closely to the state of current medical science and popular culture that this isn't so much a warning as a diagnosis. And as with any frightening diagnosis, you'll be torn between denial and a desperate urge to talk about it.
The story begins on a deceptively small scale: Russell Stone is a cynical young editor for a cheesy self-improvement magazine called Becoming You. He's still recovering from a brief period of fame when his witty personal essays were sought after by NPR and the New Yorker. But now, at 32, he spends his days translating saccharine testimonies of personal triumph into Standard English. Lonely and depressed, he jumps at the chance to teach a night class in creative nonfiction at a Chicago arts college.
Everything in this provocative novel revolves around a mysterious student in Russell's class named Thassa Amzwar.