About this title
This inquiry into matters of heart, conducted under the shadows of pending surgery, awakens themes of boyhood, education, and marriage and prompt questions about loyalty to a deceased father, connections with immigrant grandparents, loss and rediscovery of faith, and solitude versus community. A medical narrative, the book also chronicles a span of contemporary American life. Throughout Amato's account, the consistent reminder of his upcoming bypass invites readers to reflect on their own lives and selves. This is an intelligent and witty guide to an immensely common operation that nevertheless for each patient constitutes a unique experience-a veritable rite of passage.