This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Celeste Headlee, in Washington. Neal Conan is away. Chemotherapy can be a painful and disruptive experience that can affect almost every aspect of a cancer patient's life. We hear most often about things like nausea and hair loss, of course, but people aren't necessarily prepared to lose, say, the taste of their favorite food, or develop insomnia.
In her new book, Sugar in the Blood, Andrea Stuart weaves her family story around the history of slavery and sugar in Barbados. Stuart's great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfather landed on the island in the 1630s. He had been a blacksmith in England, but became a sugar planter in Barbados, at a time when demand for the crop was exploding worldwide. Stuart is descended from a slave owner who, several generations after the family landed in Barbados, had relations with an unknown slave.