February 9th, 2008
Max Gerber’s My Heart vs. the Real World is a photo documentary volume that explores the lives of children with congenital heart disease (CHD) through striking black-and-white photographs and interviews with subjects and their families. Congenital heart defects are the most common of all birth defects, occurring in one out of every 115 to 150 births. Every year over 25,000 CHD children are born in the U.S.
“Max Gerber’s powerful portraits of children are intimate and beautiful. No other photographer could have made as strong a statement about these children. Max has lived their experiences, and he has shared his life with us through these sensitive and beautifully executed images. We get to know these children, we see them grow, we see their strength and their beauty.”
—Mary Ellen Mark, photographer
Ten chapters each spotlight a single child and in an additional chapter, the author writes about his own experience of growing up and living with CHD. The images and personal accounts reveal how, compared with someone healthy, a chronically ill child develops adult attitudes in a much different way. These are stories of how CHD patients and their families cope with and overcome extraordinary obstacles and learn about themselves during the process.
My Heart vs. the Real World is sometimes funny, sometimes sad, always thought-provoking, and altogether human.