The Shape of the Eye by George Estreich
“An elegantly written, unsentimental memoir.” People Magazine (People’s Pick of the Week).
When Laura Estreich is born, her appearance presents a puzzle: does the shape of her eyes indicate Down syndrome, or the fact that she has a Japanese grandmother? In this powerful memoir, George Estreich, a poet and stay-at-home dad, tells his daughter’s story, reflecting on her inheritance…from the literal legacy of her genes, to the family history that precedes her, to the Victorian physician John Langdon Down’s diagnostic error of “Mongolian idiocy.”
Against this backdrop, Laura takes her place in the Estreich family as a unique child, quirky and real, loved for everything ordinary and extraordinary about her. “In this wise and moving memoir, George Estreich tells the story of his family as his younger daughter is diagnosed with Down syndrome and they are thrust into an unfamiliar world. Estreich writes with a poet’s eye and gift of language, weaving this personal journey into the large history of his family, exploring the deep and often hidden connections between the past and the present.
Engaging and unsentimental, The Shape of the Eye taught me a great deal. It is a story I found myself thinking about long after I’d finished the final pages.” Kim Edwards, author of The Memory Keeper’s Daughter. “The Shape of the Eye is a memoir of a father’s love for his daughter, his struggle to understand her disability, and his journey toward embracing her power and depth. Estreich is raw and honest and draws us each into a new view of what it means to be ‘human’ and what it means to be ‘different”. This book is beautifully written, poetically insightful, and personally transformative. To read it is to rethink everything and to be happy because of the journey.” Timothy P. Shriver, Ph.D., Chairman & CEO of the Special Olympics.