When a baby is born, every parent checks to ensure their child is healthy, looking for the vital 10 fingers and 10 toes. No parent expects the doctor to ask consent for additional testing for Down syndrome. George Estreich and his wife Theresa certainly didn’t.
After two weeks of waiting, of living in denial that little Laura Estreich’s almond-shaped eyes were anything but the vestiges of her Japanese ancestry, the doctor delivered the news: Laura had Down syndrome.
The Shape of the Eye details all that comes after such a life-changing diagnosis. In this “poignant, beautifully written and intensely moving memoir” (Abraham Verghese, author of Cutting for Stone), poet and stay-at-home dad, George Estreich, relays both his daughter’s story and his struggle to
accept and understand the meaning of ‘different.’
This memoir, unlike any other, reflects on Laura’s place in her family as well as the numerous aspects of her inheritance — from the literal
legacy of her genes to the history behind Victorian physician John Langdon Down’s initial diagnostic error of “Mongolian idiocy.”
Originally published in a limited manner by the now suspended Southern Methodist University Press, this winner of the 2012 Oregon Book Award in Creative
Nonaction will be released in paperback, updated with a new afterword wherein Estreich provides an update on his family’s life and delves into the new technological advances and quandaries that have cropped up as Laura has grown.
Without being saccharine sweet or falling into self-pity, The Shape Of The Eye provides a true-to-life examination of the quandaries and love that define the enriched world of a family living with Down syndrome.