A Man After His Own Heart: A True Story

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Crown Publishers, 2004 - Medical - 274 pages
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Somewhere on this earth tonight, somewhere, I believe, not very far from me, there is a person whose heart I've touched. A person whose heart I've held in my hand. . . .
So begins A Man After His Own Heart, an extraordinary narrative by acclaimed author, essayist, and poet Charles Siebert on that most elusive of topics--the human heart. On a rainy December night one recent winter, Siebert was given the rare opportunity to accompany a team of surgeons both in the harvesting of a human heart from the body of a young woman who'd recently died of a brain aneurysm, and in the subsequent delivery and implantation of that heart into the hollowed-out chest of a waiting recipient.
Beginning with his harrowing week-long wait for the harvest call to come and culminating with the moment in which one of the implant surgeons suddenly, inexplicably, places the author's hand on the wildly beating reanimated heart, Siebert manages to weave a seamless series of ruminations and reflections about his own obsession with the heart and his often-estranged father's fatal heart disease; about history's ongoing fascination with this most central and vital organ; and about modern science's latest startling discoveries concerning both the heart's biological origins and its long-intuited role in the play of our emotions. The resulting mix is nothing less than a radically new, definitive biography of life's most pondered and poeticized protagonist. This story is a journey into the literal and figurative heart of our being, revealing the previously unexplored ways in which the matter of modern science and timeless metaphor meet.

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Man after his own heart: a true story

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Man of letters Siebert (Wickerby; Angus) returns with an account of his self-described obsession with the heart and all its facets. His pensive reflections on his father's death from heart disease led ... Read full review


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About the author (2004)

CHARLES SIEBERT’s essays, articles, and poems have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, Harper’s, Esquire, Men’s Journal, and Outside. He is the author of two books, Wickerby: An Urban Pastoral, a New York Times notable book, and Angus: A Novel, available from Three Rivers Press.

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