About “The Orchid and the Dandelion”


I’m currently writing — writing like mad — a book for Crown titled The Orchid and the Dandelion, exploring ideas of how genes and experience shape us, and we them. The main idea explored is known as the orchid-dandelion hypothesis, or just plain orchid hypothesis. It offers that some of the genes and traits generating our greatest maladies and misdeeds — depression, anxiety, hyper-aggression, a failure to focus — also underlie many of our greatest satisfactions and success.

I’ve explored the heart of this idea most thoroughly in “Orchid Children,” for The Atlantic. Also relevant are “The Social Life of Genes,” in Pacific Standard and “Beautiful Brains,” a National Geographic feature about adolescence. You can also find related writing about genetics under my genetics tag.

  6 comments for “About “The Orchid and the Dandelion”

  1. sbw3636@gmail.com
    February 20, 2014 at 4:06 pm

    3003 West2nd Ave

    Hi I am really looking forward to reading your book ” The Orchid and THe Dandelion” We have an orchid child and just learned about this yesterday! Please let me know when your book will be available. It said some where that it would be done in 2013…. but of course its like birthing a child… hard to predict due dates!!!
    Simone Wilson
    Vancouver, BC

    • February 23, 2014 at 4:52 pm

      Hard to predict indeed! I ends to update this page: I’m on track to finish the book this year for publication in 2015. Thanks for your interest.

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