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 Schonborn 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.
"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."
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.83(d)|
About the Author
Date of Death:December 23, 2012
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Have just finished reading Karl Schonborn's 's wonderful book, Cleft Heart - Chasing Normal, and want to recommend it to everyone. This is a unique memoir from the perspective of one born with a serious birth defect who underwent multiple surgeries and needed special care; lived through years of anguish because of his limitations; was on the receiving end of cruel bullying and overcame all these challenges. Schonborn is also a talented writer whose intelligence and expressive powers enable the reader to share his experiences completely. He quickly involves the reader, and once you start you won’t be able to put this book down. His story is provocative and powerful on many levels: the bullying experience faced by one with physical differences in the conformist Fifties; coming of age in the turbulent Sixties; personal and family challenges of dealing with a serious birth defect; the tragedy of mental illness; overcoming these challenges to rise to the highest levels of academic and personal achievement and, for good measure, a globe-trotting romantic adventure