"A freewheeling trip through Southwestern culture
and religion, Jewish history and modern genetics ...
An intriguing tale told with gusto."
— Kirkus Reviews
The wandering gene is a breast cancer
mutation, BRCA1.185delAG, which is characteristic of
Jews. The book is a historical and scientific
investigation that ranges from ancient Palestine and
the Spanish Inquisition to the modern DNA lab and
the Kingdom Hall of the Jehovah's Witnesses. At the
heart of the narrative is a young Hispano woman who
struggles with breast cancer until her proud and
The book, illustrated with my own photos from San
Luis Valley, Colorado, is published by W.W. Norton.
Enthusiastic reviews appeared in the
Wall Street Journal,
Barnes & Noble Review, and the
Seattle Times. If you don't have a good local
bookstore to support, you may buy it online from
the usual source.
To the right are links to summaries of the ten chapters.
You may read them to the accompaniment of a
tune from Old New Mexico,
sung by a carrier of the gene, Robert Martinez.