Shortly after learning they would become the parents of twins, the physician-writer Amit Majmudar and his wife received a devastating in utero diagnosis: one of the twins had a potentially fatal congenital heart defect.
Written in the form of an extended letter, Twin A recounts the epic story of the open-heart surgeries, complications, and prolonged recoveries that Majmudar’s son survived in infancy and early childhood. But the narrative turns into something much richer and more expansive than the mere description of a surgical history. Thanks to Majmudar’s ample gifts as a wordsmith, medical and scientific information frequently give way to original poetry and fables, family history, and a series of evocative religious and philosophical reflections about matters of life and death.
The result is a fresh, captivating exploration of the events that transform his son and everyone around him. Drawing strength and beauty from catastrophe, Majmudar’s Twin A creates a moving portrait of a family’s love and a child’s extraordinary resilience.
Only a parent who’s held vigil over a sick child can know the terror and grace of witnessing life at its most precarious. Translating such an experience into language requires not only a parent, but a physician and a poet. Fortunately, Amit Majmudar is all three. Twin A is a gorgeous, moving memoir about nothing less than the secret of life itself.
David McGlynn, author of One Day You’ll Thank Me and A Door in the Ocean
A magnificent braiding of science, philosophy and religion, full of gorgeous poetry and breathtaking prose, this book is not only a love letter from a father to a son but a stunning meditation on what it is to be both fragilely embodied and firmly loved. A guide to living and loving fully in the face of the unexpected, Twin A offers a beautiful, life-affirming answer to the question “Why me?” I adored this book — clutched! underlined! dogeared! — and will return to it again and again.
Lucy Kalanithi, MD, FACP, Stanford School of Medicine
This is one of the most stunning books I’ve read. With profound words Amit is able to decant both the sun and the moon into the reader’s heart and mind. . . . Twin A is for any medical professional, parent, caregiver, clinician, and/or tenderhearted soul.
Kristin A. Meekhof, co-author of A Widow’s Guide to Healing
Written as a long, loving letter to his son—diagnosed in utero with complex congenital heart defect—Amit Majmudar’s poignant memoir blends a father’s boundless affection, a physician’s perceptive eye, and a gifted poet’s sensitivity. As a physician-father myself, I know his anxiety over the many ways medical treatment can go wrong, but Majmudar bears this burden with equanimity and grace. Deep wisdom inhabits his words, rich in compassion and spiritual insight.
Brian Volck, M.D., author of Attending Others and Flesh Becomes Word