It’s easy to find Waldo these days. He’s the only one at the beach or out on a once-busy Manhattan street.
So, check out the two photos in this blog and figure out who’s reading Cleft Heart. Let me know.
Unprecedented Times for us all.
As the great political writer Thomas Paine wrote during a low point in the American Revolutionary War, “These are the times that try men’s souls.”
But as another great writer, Charles Dickens, wrote at the same time, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”* And as some of us have discovered, there are silver-linings to being told to remain at home because of the corona virus. One of these is the chance to read more.
If you don’t know about my book Cleft Heart – Chasing Normal, or it’s been on your To Read list for a while, here’s some info for you.
Cleft Heart: chasing normal.
A coming-of-age tale about finding one’s place in the world, after confronting prejudice, violence, and family tragedy.
It’s a story about a kid with cleft lip and palate who’s bullied ’cause no one can understand him. He’s becomes a cardiac invalid along the way and has to overcome a fear of dying at any moment. The love of two women helps him through all this.
He goes on to debate at Yale and to lecture to hundreds in large lecture halls in grad school.
Go here for a description and testimonial by a respected blogger and critic.
Can you find the Cleft Heart reader here.
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.”
Here are 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 Cleft Heart 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 longer 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. He wants to be a debate star and attend an elite college.
However, after various successes Schonborn must deal with reverses in his love life and worse. An unspeakable tragedy occurs in his family. Somehow, he survives, even thrives.
Schonborn’s coming-of-age story spans the WWII ‘40s, the conformist ’50s, and the revolutionary ‘60s. He 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.
The author’s Bio.
And, ahem, a blurb someone wrote 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 cleft palate voices often are.
Besides narrating documentaries, Schonborn has lectured to and mentored thousands of students in his career as a professor in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Schonborn’s experience of being bullied as a child and his friendship with 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. He makes recommendations in them 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. He taught courses on violence, the police, crime and delinquency, and then terrorism after 9/11.
Schonborn’s also written 14 refereed articles (many based Oakland PD data). And also, several monographs, and 25 nationally broadcast and distributed films for which he was writer, director and producer.
Recipient of many grants and awards, Schonborn has been a Visiting Scholar at the Centre for Violence Studies at the U. of Manchester in 2000 and 2007. He’s been an interviewer for several network and cable TV shows.
As a product of three Ivy League schools and a student of violence, you’d think Schonborn to be one serious dude. However, his students understand full well that he’d like to be a stand-up comic one day. With a mustache covering his cleft scars and a wife and dog, he passes for “normal” in the suburbs of San Francisco.”