Carolyn’s first book had little to do with the new developments in science. Instead, it was the culmination of a very old story. In 1999, she learned that the brain of Albert Einstein had been delivered to McMaster University for anatomical studies after rumbling over the Canadian border in the trunk of an old man’s car.

Carolyn spent the next two years investigating the incredible tale of the man who took Einstein’s brain in 1955, a story she told in her 2002 book, Possessing Genius: The Bizarre Odyssey of Einstein’s Brain. The Los Angeles Times said it was a story “so engaging the brain becomes an intriguing character,” and London’s Daily Express called it, “as gripping as any action-packed thriller.”

The book was a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award for non-fiction, winner of the Canadian Science Writers’ Science in Society Book award, and now published in seven countries and four languages.

The Juggler’s Children is Carolyn’s second work of non-fiction. Owing to the nature of researching a family tree it was nearly a decade in the making, taking her to distant hill stations in Indian, long-abandoned plantations in Jamaica and countless hours scouring the Internet for clues to her family’s origins.

Recently, tens of thousands of people have been drawn to mail-order DNA tests to learn about their family roots. Abraham investigates whether this burgeoning new science can help solve two mysteries that have haunted her multiracial family for more than a century. Both hinge on her enigmatic great-grandfathers–a hero who died young and another, the family namesake, who disappeared. Can the DNA they left behind reveal their stories from beyond the grave?

Armed with DNA kits, Abraham crisscrosses the globe, taking cells from relatives and strangers, a genetic journey that turns up far more than she bargained for–ugly truths and moral quandaries. With lively writing and a compelling personal narrative, The Juggler’s Children tackles profound questions around the genetics of identity, race and humanity, and tells a big story about our small world, with vivid proof that genes bind us all to the branches of one family tree.

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