Here are two recent reader letters about Immortal Bird, one just received today. Each covers a major theme of the book: the first and primary one was to portray a vivid and remarkable teenager and to give back life where it had been been stolen; and the second was to convey the challenges of dealing with a flawed medical system when trying to save a loved one.
I finished the book, yesterday. It took me less time, and more time than anticipated. I raced through Parts I and II and then slowly had to carve out the appropriate time for Part III.
It is an amazing piece of writing and a devastating story that you laid out beautifully. I’m humbled to have read it, to have a glimpse of Damon and to know the struggle your family endured.
I dog-eared one excerpt that I found especially poignant; the brief encounter between Damon and your high school Shakespeare teacher, Irwin Wolfson. I know why it spoke to me; the theatrics, the shakespeare, the colorful language, the chiding . . . there are many many reasons. I imagine that’s why you included it. Free will vs causal determinism. . . “Possibly it can make a difference, at the margins – which is where most of life transpires, so it’s not unimportant – but nothing can change the final outcome of a single fate.” Alas, I still don’t know what I believe; likely I never will….
The book is a beautiful portrayal of an incredible life. I think Damon and I would have been fast friends. I’m happy to feel like I met him, if only on the page.
Just got done reading your book on Damon and your families experience with living with serious illness…the good, bad and the ugly.
What struck me was the incredible honesty that was apparent in the book; no sugar coated false hope. Just a story that ended in a way that of course was unwanted.
My sincere sympathy in your dealings with the medical establishment ( another striking point in the book ). My experience the last few years with those that know and are doing “what’s in your best interest,” have been head exploding to say the least.
Not sure how many notes you get, but it’s always nice to get an anonymous pat on the back – “ya done good.”
I remain deeply grateful to all the individuals who take time out not only to read Immortal Bird, but to write me such personal and affecting letters about the book. Thank you.