Current Book, Cleft Heart

Schonborn’s latest, Cleft Heart, follows a kid with birth defects who realizes his wildest dreams as a young man…only to be confronted by his scariest nightmares as a young adult.

Bullied for his unintelligible speech—though not by his father like Prince Albert in “The Kings Speech“—Schonborn becomes a star debater in school and college but soon has to race half way around the world to fight for his girl. He has put himself on the line before–in New York City and other places–to follow his dreams. And these tests prepare him for the greatest challenge of his life –cracking the mystery of the tragic violence that befalls his family. He unravels the mystery, in part, to give himself the normal life he’s wanted ever since he was a kid.

A true, yet inspirational, coming-of-age story.

Not a medical misery memoir by any stretch, Cleft Heart: Chasing Normal is also a love story. A story about the love of a mother for her son, the love of that son for one of the few girls who’s ever truly accepted him, and the love of life that propels the young man through searing challenges .

Available in California at Books, Inc,  Mountain Vw, Palo Alto & Orinda Books.

Order, too, via Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

A Note To Parents

Finally, there’s a  book that’s that shines the light on bullying in a serious way. After reading Cleft Heart, you and your kids won’t dismiss bullying as nothing to worry about.

Bullying  kills kids and ruins lives. It’s not just about “kids being kids.”

Help the anti-bullying movement, energized by  the movie “Bully,” and give a copy of Cleft Heart to your kids.

Also, if your kid suffers from birth defects or a serious childhood disease,  consider sharing Cleft Heart with him or her. The book will likely inspire them to swing for the fences and not settle for a life with limits and frustrated aspirations.

Advance Endorsements, Testimonials

“A poignant, heartfelt tale of endurance and hope. Schonborn’s story is an inspiration to all who endure physical or mental health challenges and those who care about them.”                                                                      John Kerry (United States Secretary of State)

Schonborn’s courage and candor are impressive as he tells of trying to become ‘normal’ despite endless visits to the doctors and speech therapists who give him a fighting chance at proving naysayers wrong.”  

                                              Rhoda Agin, PhD   (Internationally known Speech Therapist & Author)

“Gives hope to all who contend with deformities, disabilities or depression.   Additionally,  Cleft Heart reads like a mystery book and has a love story to boot.”                                           

                            Ronald Iverson, MD (Adjunct Prof Plastic Surgery, Stanford U., Former President ASPS)

 “Courage, humor, and a silver tongue help Karl Schonborn overcome a series of daunting birth defects and a tragic personal loss that might have defeated many others . He shows us how in his inspiring memoir. His story left this reader cheering.”                                                                                                    Chris Bernard   (author, A Spy in the Ruins)

 “Schonborn details how he has overcome the cards dealt him. His narrative is inspiring and most helpful, particularly as he describes his changes throughout the decades.”

                                               Luis Vasconez, MD (Chief of  Plastic Surgery, U.of Alabama Med School)

“I was really moved and excited to see the tale unfold. It’s a great story, an example to help others get through tragedies or misfortunes.”

                                               Steve Clark (World’s fastest swimmer early ‘60s, Olympic Gold Medalist)

Previous Books  

Other Works

Documentaries and Socumentaries — Inquire via Contacts


Spread the love


  1. Karl Schonborn says:

    Until I learn how to post items to the side of this Books page, I’ll have to do it this way–

    An important character in CLEFT HEART, Ira Sandperl, died this week. He’s in the chapters dealing with folksinger Joan Baez. As a mentor to her and numerous others, Ira played a critical role in some of the key political events during the middle decades of the 20th century.
    Ira’s death is a great loss to those of us who knew him . . .and to those affected by those quiet ripples of nonviolence he generated which often turned into waves.
    Ira’s keen intelligence, playful wit and ability to articulate the lessons of history always charmed the pants off people. He will be sorely missed.

Speak Your Mind