Henry Holt and Co. A Fatal Inheritance: How a Family Misfortune Revealed a Deadly Medical Mystery
Henry Holt and Co. A Fatal Inheritance: How a Family Misfortune Revealed a Deadly Medical Mystery

A Fatal Inheritance: How a Family Misfortune Revealed a Deadly Medical Mystery

By Lawrence Ingrassia


Publication Date: May 14, 2024

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Weaving his own moving family story with this sweeping history of cancer research, Lawrence Ingrassia delivers an intimate, gripping tale that sits at the intersection of memoir and medical thriller.

Ingrassia lost his mother, brother, two sisters, and nephew to cancer—different cancers developing at different points throughout their lives. And while highly unusual, his family is not the only one to wonder whether their suffering is the result of unbelievable bad luck, or if there might be another explanation.

Through meticulous research and riveting storytelling, Ingrassia takes us from the 1960s—when Dr. Frederick Pei Li and Dr. Joseph Fraumeni Jr. first met, not yet knowing that they would go on to make a groundbreaking discovery that would affect cancer patients for decades to come—to present day, as Ingrassia and countless others continue to unpack and build upon Li and Fraumeni’s initial discoveries, and to understand what this means for their families.

In the face of seemingly unbearable loss, Ingrassia holds onto hope. He urges us to fight like Charlie, his nephew who battled cancer his entire life starting with a rhabdomyosarcoma at the age of two—and to look toward the future, as gene sequencing, screening protocols, CRISPR gene editing, and other developing technologies may continue to extend lifespans and perhaps, one day, even offer cures.

About the Author

Lawrence Ingrassia is a former business and economics editor and deputy managing editor at the New York Times, having previously spent twenty-five years at the Wall Street Journal, as Boston bureau chief, London bureau chief, money and investing editor, and assistant managing editor. He also served as managing editor of the Los Angeles Times. The coverage he directed won five Pulitzer Prizes as well as Gerald Loeb Awards and George Polk Awards. His first book, Billion Dollar Brand Club, chronicles the rise of popular direct-to-consumer e-commerce brands and was shortlisted for several best business book awards for 2020. His latest book, A Fatal Inheritance, narrates the tale of a team of dedicated researchers who solved the medical mystery behind seemingly unrelated cancers devastating his and other families. He lives in the Seattle area.

Format: Hardcover with dust jacket

Length: 320 pages

Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.

Publication Date: May 14, 2024

ISBN: 9781250837226

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