After reading Powers’ National Book Award Winner The Echo Maker, I was eager to read another novel by this author. Generosity, the book I chose, featured a creative writing instructor, Russell Stone, whose life is transformed when an Algerian woman, Thassadit Amzwar, steps into his class. This woman appears to be perpetually happy – so much so that it affects the typically melancholy Stone and everyone else around her. Stone contacts a psychiatrist about Amzwar and together, they seek to help the Algerian optimist, but of course, things turn very sour.
Modern fiction is typically not sort of book I’d enjoy, and Generosity was no exception. I wasn’t moved by the characters, nor was the science of “happiness” Powers delved into something that captured my interest. It was a big ho hum for me.
2 1/2 stars (out of 5)
Published in 2009