Some Genes! Natalie Portman’s Pop Pens Pregnancy Thriller

natalie portman with avner hershlag Some Genes! Natalie Portman’s Pop Pens Pregnancy ThrillerMisconception, the self-published debut novel by Long Island fertility specialist Dr. Avner Hershlag, now making the rounds of major houses, is a tale of cloning experiments gone bad and the compromised embryos of a U.S. first lady.

But the author’s pedigree may be more appealing to publishers than the novel’s plot or subject matter. Dr. Hershlag is the father of actress Natalie Hershlag, better known as Portman.

Dr. Hershlag said that he’d always intended to publish the book conventionally, but he’d run low on time for edits due to “my day job, if you want,” and decided to put it out himself. Later, raves from friends convinced him to try his luck with established publishers.

Misconception is an example of a new subgenre, one that Dr. Hershlag has dubbed the “reproductive thriller.” As for his family’s recent real-life procreative endeavors–baby Millepied is due this summer–Dr. Hershlag told the Transom, “When I hold a baby that I knew as an embryo a year ago–I can’t even describe the feeling. It never goes away. And when I think that a few months down the road I’m going to hold the baby that’s going to be my grandchild…”

He didn’t finish the thought, but we got the idea.

ddaddario@observer.com :: @DPD_