She Has Her Mother’s Laugh:
The Powers, Perversions, and Potential of Heredity

She Has Her Mother’s Laugh is a masterpiece–a career-best work from one of the world’s premier science writers, on a topic that literally touches every person on the planet.” — Ed Yong, author of I Contain Multitudes and staff writer at The Atlantic

Carl Zimmer presents a history of our understanding of heredity in this sweeping, resonating overview of a force that shaped human society–a force set to shape our future even more radically. Weaving historical and current scientific research, his own experience with his two daughters, Zimmer ultimately unpacks urgent bioethical quandaries arising from new biomedical technologies, but also long-standing presumptions about who we really are and what we can pass on to future generations. COMING MAY 2018

What People Are Saying

“No one unravels the mysteries of science as brilliantly and compellingly as Carl Zimmer, and he has proven it again with She Has Her Mother’s Laugh—a sweeping, magisterial book that illuminates the very nature of who we are.”
—David Grann, author most of Killers of the Flower Moon

“Humans have long noticed something remarkable, namely that organisms are similar but not identical to their parents—in other words, that some traits can be inherited. From this observation has grown the elegant science of genetics, with its dazzling medical breakthroughs. And from this has also grown the toxic pseudosciences of eugenics, Lysenkoism and Nazi racial ideology. Carl Zimmer traces the intertwined histories of the science and pseudoscience of heredity. Zimmer writes like a dream, teaches a ton of accessible science, and provides the often intensely moving stories of the people whose lives have been saved or destroyed by this topic. I loved this book.”
—Robert Sapolsky, Professor of biology and neurology at Stanford University, and author of Behave

“Carl Zimmer lifts off the lid, dumps out the contents, and sorts through the pieces of one of history’s most problematic ideas: heredity. Deftly touching on psychology, genetics, race, and politics, She Has Her Mother’s Laugh is a superb guide to a subject that is only becoming more important. Along the way, it explains some remarkably complicated science with equally remarkable clarity–a totally impressive job all around.”
—Charles C. Mann, author of 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus

“Carl Zimmer is not only among my favorite science writers—he’s also now responsible for making me wonder why there is more Neanderthal DNA on earth right now than when Neanderthals were here, and why humanity is getting taller and smarter in the last few generations. She Has Her Mother’s Laugh explains how our emerging understanding of genetics is touching almost every part of society, and will increasingly touch our lives.”
—Charles Duhigg, author of Smarter Faster Better and The Power of Habit.