Your Hearts, Your Scars

144 pages

Trade Paper

List Price US $17.99
ISBN: 9781954276055


ISBN: 9781954276062

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“Adina Talve-Goodman challenges us to think differently about ill bodies, desire and death in the context of her relationship with Judaism. This tender and lyrical book will make you laugh while breaking your heart.”

Wingate Prize Shortlist judges’ citation

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“Adina Talve-Goodman walked a tightrope, for much of her thirty-one years, between life and death. Perhaps for this reason, Adina embodied life more than any person I’ve ever met. She lit up rooms with pure joy and kindness and, although this phrase is often overused, to know Adina was to love her. I’m grateful this beautiful book exists, so everyone else can know her, too. Adina was a brilliant writer, and these pages are imbued with her exuberance, her sharp humor, and both versions of her spectacular heart.”

Ann Napolitano, author of Dear Edward and Hello Beautiful

“This book is so full of life that it’s hard to believe the amazing young woman who wrote it is no longer walking among us. Adina has left an indelible mark on this world. Her extraordinary gifts, her irrepressible spirit, live on.”

Dani Shapiro, author of Inheritance and Signal Fires

Your Hearts, Your Scars tells of hearts broken and whole, hearts always shared—by families, by lovers, by transplant recipients and their donors. The book’s incisions expose all these beating hearts and the hearts of Adina’s reading public, who can only imagine what this visionary artist would have created next.”

Rita Charon, MD, PhD, author of Narrative Medicine and The Principles and Practice of Narrative Medicine

“Adina’s writing is incisive and inventive. The energy coursing through her prose is positively contagious. This is not a book to be missed!”

Danielle Ofri, MD, PhD, Editor-in-Chief of Bellevue Literary Review and author of When We Do Harm

“Deeply felt, beautifully expressed essays . . . provide rare insight forged by years of coping with illness.”

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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“Compelling. . . . [Talve-Goodman] is a sharp observer, funny, grateful and very likeable. . . . Her essays will reverberate in many hearts.”

Hadassah Magazine

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“Talve-Goodman blends humor, humility and compassion so seamlessly, you can’t help but be captivated. The book reads like she is speaking to you.”

St. Louis Jewish Light

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“Packs a punch. . . . A raw, deeply honest collection of writing that looks squarely at the hard stuff but also celebrates life.”

Book Riot

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“A frank, incisively charismatic text. . . . The mind at work in these pages is sharp and funny.”

Washington Square Review

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“Crisp, unpretentious.”


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“Thoughtful and sensitive.”

LitMed Database

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“[Talve-Goodman] transformed her physical limitations into an outward source of strength, and her vividly drawn essays effectively enlighten and educate. . . . Heartfelt and richly passionate.”

Kirkus Reviews

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“Reflective and forthright. . . . Illustrating the complex experience of organ transplantation and chronic illness, the essays of Your Hearts, Your Scars . . . explore what it means to be alive, to have a body, and to come back from the brink of death.”

Foreword Reviews

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“Ponders the precariousness of life for the chronically ill and disabled [in] seven poignant autobiographical essays about living joyfully and looking for love in spite of chronic illness.”

Shelf Awareness

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“Heartfelt, heartbreaking—incredible.”

Kelsey Ford, Powell’s Books (Portland, OR)

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“Moving beyond words. Reading this book will stir you; it will find you in your most tender place and open you to your own precious life.”

Kris Kleindienst, Left Bank Books (St. Louis, MO) at Literary Hub

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“Funny and sharp. . . . This posthumous collection of essays on coming of age as a heart transplant recipient exposes so much of the human condition from the perspective of a young woman wrestling with her mortality. Full of hope, this book is a lighthouse for those always seeking the best in people.”

Arvin Ramgoolam, Townie Books (Crested Butte, CO)

Adina Talve-Goodman was born with a congenital heart condition and survived multiple operations over the course of her childhood, including a heart transplant at age nineteen. In these seven essays, she tells the story of her chronic illness and her youthful search for love and meaning, never forgetting that her adult life is tied to the loss of another person—the donor of her transplanted heart.

Whether writing about the experience of taking her old heart home from the hospital (and passing it around the Thanksgiving table), a summer camp for young transplant patients, or a memorable night on the town, Talve-Goodman’s writing is filled with curiosity, humor, and compassion. Published posthumously, Your Hearts, Your Scars is the work of a writer wise beyond her years, a moving reflection on chance and gratitude, and a testament to hope and kindness.

Your Hearts, Your Scars is edited by Sarika Talve-Goodman and Hannah Tinti, with a foreword by Jo Firestone.

Wingate Prize Shortlist

Reading Group Choices “Top Picks” selection

Jewish Women’s Archive Book Club Pick

Hadassah Magazine “Reading List” selection

Shelf Unbound “Recommended Reading” selection

Book Riot “New Releases” selection

Powell’s Books “Picks of the Month” & “Disability Pride Month” selection

Plymouth District Library “Disability Pride Month Reading List” selection

Excerpt from Your Hearts, Your Scars

Watch Jo Firestone and guest performers Ariel Kavoussi, Nadia Pinder, and Maeve Higgins present Your Hearts, Your Scars at the Center for Fiction, and enjoy a special celebration of Adina Talve-Goodman and her book at Central Reform Congregation (via Left Bank Books).

Listen to editors Hannah Tinti and Sarika Talve-Goodman discuss Your Hearts, Your Scars and the life and work of Adina Talve-Goodman on St. Louis Public Radio.

Read excerpts from Your Hearts, Your Scars in Bellevue Literary Review, Infusion Nurses Society’s INSider magazine, Tablet Magazine, Shelf Unbound, Electric Literature, and Literary Hub.

Read Jo Firestone’s essay about grieving the loss of Adina Talve-Goodman in the New York Times and more about the author’s legacy from writer and bookseller Arvin Ramgoolam in Anomaly and from Girls Write Now.

Find resources for your book club discussions about Your Hearts, Your Scars at Reading Group Choices.