Thursday, April 14, 2005

Heart and soul

As long as I'm extolling the work of friends, let me mention a little book that has just arrived on my desk, by Brian Doyle -- he of the fuzzy chin and twinkling eyes, whom I have never met F2F -- a little book called The Wet Engine: Exploring the Mad Wild Miracle of the Heart, a perfect little book, about Brian's son Liam who was born with a damaged heart, and the surgeon David McIrvin, who fixes the damaged hearts of little boys (and girls), a book I was asked by his publisher to blurb and -- having read the manuscript -- felt honored to comply.

Brian is simply one of the best essayists working in America today, and The Wet Engine -- well, it's more than an essay, but it has an essay's heartfelt grace. It is all about cardiology, and love, and faith, and parenthood, and childhood, and the dark throbbing chambers of the heart, and hummingbirds (whose hearts beat much, much faster than the hearts of little boys), and blue whales (whose four-chambered hearts are as big as rooms and weigh seven tons) and -- and just about anything else that's worth caring about. Thanks, Brian.