Mesothelioma & Familial Dysautonomia: Background information when reading So Much for That

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

So Much for That

A Novel

by Lionel Shriver

So Much for That by Lionel Shriver
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Mar 2010, 448 pages
    Paperback:
    Mar 2011, 448 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Norah Piehl

Buy This Book

About this Book

Beyond the Book:
Mesothelioma & Familial Dysautonomia

Print Review

Two devastating diseases precipitate the health care crises of So Much for That. Glynis develops mesothelioma, a type of invasive cancer that is associated with exposure to asbestos. This type of cancer typically starts in the lungs but can affect the entire mesothelium - the tissue that lines many internal organs. Not only is mesothelioma notoriously difficult to treat, it's also hard to pinpoint its exact cause, since its onset typically happens 30 to 50 years after initial exposure to asbestos. In Shriver's novel, Glynis, an artist who works with metal, was exposed to the hazardous substance in the studio as an art student, although she initially blames her husband Shep for introducing the toxin through his work in the home construction and repair industries.

While Glynis develops mesothelioma in middle age, Jackson and Carol's daughter Flicka has dealt all her life with familial dysautonomia (or FD), a genetic disorder that occurs almost exclusively in people of Ashkenazi Jewish descent. Approximately 1 in 27 individuals of Eastern European Jewish ancestry carries this gene. FD affects cells in the autonomic nervous system, disrupting the customary functioning of such things as tear production, breathing, blood pressure, and digestion, as well as the ability of individuals to sense taste, pain, heat, and cold. Although the disease does not seem to affect mental processes, it can result in physical developmental delays. Although, as Shriver indicates in her story, there are many therapies available for people with this condition, there is still no cure, and a child born today with FD has a 50% chance of reaching his or her thirtieth birthday.

Article by Norah Piehl

This article was originally published in April 2010, and has been updated for the March 2011 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.

This article is available to non-members for a limited time. You can also read these articles for free. For full access become a member today.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: All Our Wrong Todays
    All Our Wrong Todays
    by Elan Mastai
    You need a great deal of time to read All Our Wrong Todays, but don't let that put you off. ...
  • Book Jacket: Dadland
    Dadland
    by Keggie Carew
    In her notable debut, Keggie Carew examines the life of her father Tom, a decorated war hero whose ...
  • Book Jacket: Piecing Me Together
    Piecing Me Together
    by Renee Watson
    Race and class in American culture certainly dominate the news right now. These two things seem to ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Atomic Weight of Love
by Elizabeth J. Church

In the spirit of The Aviator's Wife, this resonant debut spans from World War II through the Vietnam War.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Mercies in Disguise
    by Gina Kolata

    A story of hope, a family's genetic destiny, and the science that rescued them.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Lola
    by Melissa Scrivner Love

    An astonishing debut crime thriller about an unforgettable woman.
    Reader Reviews

Who Said...

Great literature cannot grow from a neglected or impoverished soil...

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

Solve this clue:

O My D B

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
Modal popup -