I am on the tenth day of a 48-day, 3300-mile Big Ride Across America–we’re camping in the Rockies tonight, having cycled 98 miles from Missoula to Avon, Montana, and tomorrow we cross the Continental Divide–but I wanted to provide an update on Immortal Bird before I begin posting photos and snippets from the Ride.
On Father’s Day, NPR ran a feature article Raising Dad: Books for a New Kind of Fatherhood that argued that more fathers were writing books on fatherhood than ever before, indicating a “generational watershed.” The author, Mark Rotella, suggested these books could be broken down into four categories: the dad as coach; the hip and witty dad; the dad as participatory journalist; and the heavy hitters, into which last category he included Immortal Bird.
“Finally we have the heavy hitters. by that I mean men who don’t have time to write a guide for other dads, prove they are hipsters or immerse themselves in the “experience” of being a father. These books are unapologetically about the sheer joy and pain fatherhood can bring. They are written when something goes terribly wrong. This is the heavy stuff–stuff that men in generations before ours would not have felt comfortable discussing in a public forum.
“In Immortal Bird: A Family Memoir, Doron Weber, a Vice President of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation‘s program for the Public Understanding of Science and Technology, celebrates the memory of his son, who was born with a malformed heart and who eventually diedt at age 16 from complications of a heart transplant. “No one that you love dies once, ” Weber writes. “you are condemned to relive their death, and try to prevent it, and to fail, every time.”
On July 21, The Open Mind with Richard Heffner will air a half hour one-on-one interview with me about Immortal Bird. In New York it will be broadcast on channel 13/WNET around noon. Please check your local listings for other times.
The July/August issue of the Brown Alumni Monthly is slated to run an article about Immortal Bird. I graduated from Brown in 1977 and in the photo of Damon that has run in People, the New York Times, the New York Review of Books and elsewhere, he is wearing a Brown t-shirt.
I continue to receive very thoughtful and affecting letters from readers and will post a couple in the coming weeks.