Wendy Burden, author of Dead End Gene Pool, on tour April/May 2010

Posted By on March 2, 2010

About Dead End Gene Pool

In the tradition of Sean Wilsey’s Oh The Glory of It All and Augusten Burrough’s Running With Scissors, the great-great-great-great granddaughter of Cornelius Vanderbilt gives readers a grand tour of the world of wealth and WASPish peculiarity, in her irreverent and darkly humorous memoir.

For generations the Burdens were one of the wealthiest families in New York, thanks to the inherited fortune of Cornelius “The Commodore” Vanderbilt. By 1955, the year of Wendy’s birth, the Burden’s had become a clan of overfunded, quirky and brainy, steadfastly chauvinistic, and ultimately doomed bluebloods on the verge of financial and moral decline-and were rarely seen not holding a drink. In Dead End Gene Pool, Wendy invites readers to meet her tragically flawed family, including an uncle with a fondness for Hitler, a grandfather who believes you can never have enough household staff, and a remarkably flatulent grandmother.

At the heart of the story is Wendy’s glamorous and aloof mother who, after her husband’s suicide, travels the world in search of the perfect sea and ski tan, leaving her three children in the care of a chain- smoking Scottish nanny, Fifth Avenue grandparents, and an assorted cast of long-suffering household servants (who Wendy and her brothers love to terrorize). Rife with humor, heartbreak, family intrigue, and booze, Dead End Gene Pool offers a glimpse into the fascinating world of old money and gives truth to an old maxim: The rich are different.

About Wendy

Wendy Burden is a confirmed New Yorker who, to her constant surprise, lives in Portland, Oregon.  She is the great-great-great-great granddaughter of Cornelius Vanderbilt, which qualifies her to comment freely on the downward spiral of the blue blood families.  She has worked as an illustrator, a zookeeper, and a taxidermist; and as an art director for a pornographic magazine from which she was fired for being too tasteful.  She was also the owner and chef of a small French restaurant, Chez Wendy.  She has yet to attend mortuary school, but is planning on it.

Wendy Burden’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:

Monday, April 19th:  Life in Pink

Thursday, April 22nd:  Simply Stacie

Friday, April 23rd:  A Bookshelf Monstrosity

Monday, April 26th:  Luxury Reading

Wednesday, April 28th:  Book’N Around

Thursday, April 29th:  Chaotic Compendiums

Friday, April 30th:  Rundpinne

Wednesday, May 5th:  Book Club Classics!

Thursday, May 6th:  One Person’s Journey Through a World of Books

Friday, May 7th:  The Brain Lair

Monday, May 10th:  The Serpentine Library

Tuesday, May 11th:  Books Are Like Candy Corn

Monday, May 17th:  Sophisticated Dorkiness

Tuesday, May 18th:  Starting Fresh

Date TBD:  A Sea of Books

Tuesday, May 18th:  Books on the Brain:  Reading Series Discussion


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