Carter Heyward, Ph.D., Howard Chandler Robbins Professor of Theology Emeritus, Episcopal Divinity School:
“This, Samuel Shem’s most beautiful book, At the Heart of the Universe, rings true to all families that run deep with steady, sometimes turbulent, currents of love churning with ambiguity, insecurities, jealousy, fear, and strong commitments to one another and to the larger world as well. It testifies to a cultural phenomenon that has swept the United States and other parts of the West: the adoption of Chinese girls.
The portrayal of the Chinese birth-mother Xiao Lu is simply stunning, and offers a window into a culture that few Westerners have seen with such wise perception as Shem’s. For people in the U.S. and elsewhere in the West to have an opportunity to engage this “missing girl,” and to wrestle with its layers of meaning, will be such a joy.
This novel is a rare gift from the publishing world, a novel at its best—to be savored and shared and saved and, if you are a teacher like me, drawn from in courses on theology and ethics to illustrate the subtleties and ironies of our struggles to love one another and the world.
And please join us @ the book launch for At the Heart of the Universe:
Samuel Shem in conversation with Adam Pertman, Adoption Nation, and with Katie Surrey-Bergman and Janet Surrey. At Soho Playhouse, 14 Vandam Street, NYC. November 14, Monday at from 7 to 8:45. Free