If you live in metro Phoenix, chances are you know of Amy Silverman. She's a commentator on KJZZ and managing editor of New Times. She's been heard on This American Life, seen in The New York Times, and documents her experiences with her family on her blog, Girl in a Party Hat.
But in her new book, My Heart Can’t Even Believe It: A Story of Science, Love, and Down Syndrome, Silverman writes in touching and frank terms about her life as a wife and mother, taking readers to labs, hospitals, her Tempe home, and Disneyland.
Silverman's memoir focuses on raising her daughter Sophie, born in 2003 with Down syndrome. The stories revolve around Silverman’s family – Sophie, her older daughter, Annabelle, and her husband, Ray – and her personal understanding and acceptance of her younger child’s diagnosis. For years, Silverman documented her outlook, both as a mother and a seasoned journalist, on her blog until the full story was captured to date in My Heart Can’t Even Believe It.
That title is explained in the first pages of this oh-so-honest 225-page book. Bursting with personality, 10-year-old Sophie left Silverman a video, discovered while Silverman waited to board a flight to New York City. Sophie delivers the killer line: “I love you so much my heart can’t even believe it.”
Silverman delves into an important span of years for her and her family. The book ranges from the normalcy of family life (her daughters referring to towel-wrapped wet hair as a “Mommy hat”) to health complications for Sophie (who as a 4-year-old needed a second round of heart surgery).
My Heart Can’t Even Believe It will be available for preorder on April 15, with a launch party at Changing Hands Tempe, 6428 South McClintock Drive, at 3 p.m. on Sunday, May 1.
Purchase of the book ($21.99 before tax) secures a paperback copy and also two seats for the event. Those who can’t make it may still purchase a copy at Changing Hands (a signed book will then be reserved or shipped to the purchaser).
In addition to the launch party, Silverman will host a workshop, “Writing the Memoir in Real Time,” at Changing Hands Phoenix, 300 West Camelback Road, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 12. This memoir-writing workshop covers everything from “war stories and cautionary tales” to writing your life story while simultaneously living it. The workshop is free to those who’ve purchased the book.
Outside the Valley, Silverman has readings scheduled for Chevalier's Books in Los Angeles, KGB Bar in New York City, Politics & Prose Bookstore in Washington, D.C., and Tattered Cover Bookstore in Denver.
Woodbine House will officially release My Heart Can’t Even Believe It in May 2016. For more information on the book and the accompanying events, visit the book's official website.