Time to buy Cleft Heart: Chasing Normal.

Gentle Reader,  

As they say in radio, we’ve got to go to a commercial break now and then to pay the rent and keep the lights on. Since I’m not used to being a shameless promoter, I’ll list some comments readers have used for Cleft Heart. They come in large part from Amazon review headings:

“A Powerful and Moving Memoir”

“Awesome book about overcoming obstacles”

“Felt like I lived it”

“Unless allowed a 6th star, I cannot recommend it more highly”

“And ‘David slew his Goliaths.’ ”

Artful rendition of cover of Schonborn's memoir Cleft Heart.

Artful rendition of cover.

Cleft Heart has received great reviews—from newspapers, e-zines, review journals, and websites. Surgeons, health professionals, politicians, writers, and—most importantly—readers sing Cleft Heart’s praises.  

Here’s a blurb about Cleft Heart:

Karl Schonborn’s silver tongue is locked away for years by a birth defect that makes his speech unclear and his face asymmetrical. Bullies target him for this and even for being restricted from PE and sports. But with courage, humor, and his family’s love, he overcomes shame, handicaps, and personal losses that might have defeated others.

Skilled doctors, speech therapists, and his own determination allow him a shot at his dream of becoming a debate star and attending an elite college.

However, after various successes must deal with reverses in his love life and worse–unspeakable tragedy in his family. Somehow, he survives, even thrives.

Spanning the WWII ‘40s, the conformist ’50s, and the revolutionary ‘60s, Schonborn’s coming-of-age story recounts, among other things, his friendship with a famous folksinger, conscientious-objection to the Vietnam War, and an amazing around-the-world odyssey.

His story, like the stories of the speech-challenged Greek orator Demosthenes and British King George VI, will have you crying and cheering at the same time.

Secretary of State John Kerry’s endorsement of Cleft Heart.

“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.”                                                                                    

Schonborn’s Bio.

And, ahem, a blurb about yours truly:

Karl Schonborn has earned a living using his voice as a public speaker, even though it was once nasal and snuffly as voices often are. Besides narrating documentaries, Schonborn has lectured to and mentored thousands of students in his career as a professor at California State University in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Schonborn’s experience of being bullied as a child and his friendship with Joan Baez and her mentor motivated him to study violence of all sorts–from schoolyard incidents to international ones. He’s written four books besides Cleft Heart, some with recommendations about how teachers, police and even U.N. peacekeeping troops can more effectively deal with violence.

After nine years of schooling in the East, Dr. Schonborn returned home to the Bay Area in the 1970s to teach courses on violence, revolution and social movements, segueing to crime and delinquency in the 1980s and then terrorism and police studies in the late 1990s — mostly in response to changing student interests. Besides his five books, Schonborn’s publications include 14 refereed articles (many based on Oakland Police Department data), several monographs, a screenplay, and 25 nationally broadcast and distributed educational videos for which he was writer, director and producer.

Recipient of many grants and awards, Schonborn has been a Visiting Scholar at the British Centre for Violence Studies at the University of Manchester in 2000 and 2007 and an interviewer for several cable TV shows in the Bay Area

As a product of three Ivy League schools and a student of violence, people might expect Schonborn to be one serious dude. However, his students understand full well that he’d like to be a stand-up comic one day…and if not in this life, then in the next. With a moustache covering his cleft scars and a wife and two kids, he passes for “normal” in the suburbs of San Francisco.”

 
Click on the picture of the book to the right . Or click here for Kindle and Amazon purchases or here for Barnes & Noble purchases.