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Father's Day
Buzz Bissinger

A Journey into the Mind and Heart of My Extraordinary Son

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH)
May 2012
On Sale: May 8, 2012
288 pages
ISBN: 0547816561
EAN: 9780547816562
Kindle: B005LVQZBQ
Paperback / e-Book
$26.00
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Non-Fiction

A remarkable memoir from the best-selling author of Friday Night Lights and Three Nights in August.

Buzz Bissinger’s twins were born three minutes—and a world—apart. Gerry, the older one, is a graduate student at Penn, preparing to become a teacher. His brother Zach has spent his life attending special schools. He’ll never drive a car, or kiss a girl, or live by himself. He is a savant, challenged by serious intellectual deficits but also blessed with rare talents: an astonishing memory, a dazzling knack for navigation, and a reflexive honesty that can make him both socially awkward and surprisingly wise.

Buzz realized that while he had always been an attentive father, he didn’t really understand what it was like to be Zach. So one summer night Buzz and Zach hit the road to revisit all the places they have lived together during Zach’s twenty-four years. Zach revels in his memories, and Buzz hopes this journey into their shared past will bring them closer and reveal to him the mysterious workings of his son’s mind and heart. The trip also becomes Buzz's personal journey, yielding revelations about his own parents, the price of ambition, and its effect on his twins.

As father and son journey from Philadelphia to Los Angeles, they see the best and worst of America and each other. Ultimately, Buzz gains a new and uplifting wisdom, realizing that Zach’s worldview has a sturdy logic of its own: a logic that deserves the greatest respect. And with the help of Zach’s twin, Gerry, Buzz learns an even more vital lesson about Zach: character transcends intellect. We come to see Zach as he truly is: patient, fearless, perceptive, kind—a man of excellent character.

Media Buzz

Hard Ball with Chris Matthews - July 2, 2012
CBS This Morning - June 16, 2012
Diane Rehm Show - NPR - June 14, 2012
Hard Ball with Chris Matthews - June 13, 2012
Today - May 15, 2012

Comments

1 comment posted.

Re: Father's Day

I'm just reading a fiction series in which one of the four brothers portrayed is also a savant. I'd love to be able to compare what these two different writers have to say about this subject--especially this book based on a real person. I believe that each life has its value, though we may not understand why or how. I'm glad the father here found that to be true. I know the father in the novel did not: in fact, he treated his son abominably and damaged him more.
(Sigrun Schulz 12:29pm June 16, 2012)

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