Amy Silverstein was a vibrant, energetic 24-year-old student when she learned she had a failing heart; suddenly, it was heart transplant or die. Nearly twenty-six years after receiving her first heart transplant, Silverstein’s donor heart plummeted into failure. If she wanted to live, she had to take on the grueling quest for a new heart—immediately. In her moving memoir about the power of friendship and the resilience of the human spirit, My Glory Was I Had Such Friends: A Memoir (Harper Wave), Silverstein tells the story of the extraordinary group of women who supported her as she waited on the precipice for a life-saving heart transplant.
When Silverstein’s doctors informed her that her best shot at survival depended on moving across the country to wait for the unlikely event that a matching donor heart would become available, her friends, who had watched her in amazement as she willfully defied the odds year after year, dropped everything and followed her, in a constant rotation, to a hospital room in California to sit by her bedside. My Glory Was I Had Such Friends is a story about survival, faith and the power of women's friendship that is at once unimaginable and accessible. Candid and heartrending, this once-in-a-lifetime story of connection and empathy is a powerful reminder of the ultimate importance of “showing up” for those we love.
Silverstein is also the author of the highly acclaimed memoir Sick Girl, a bold, unforgettable self-portrait and a riveting, keenly observed, wryly humorous look at full-throttle life-threatening challenges was voted winner of the Books for a Better Life award and a finalist for the Borders Original Voices award.
An active speaker on women’s health issues and patient advocacy, Silverstein speaks candidly and honestly on the power of connections.
A graduate of NYU School of Law (she finished her degree after her transplant), Silverstein practiced corporate law prior to beginning her writing career. Her work has been featured in many online and print publications. Currently she resides in New York.
Praise for My Glory Was I Had Such Friends:
“If it were fiction, you’d dismiss it as over the top: Multiple devoted women collaborating in an emotional, cross-country support relay, struggling to keep an exhausted friend alive—a friend who is focused and willing to undergo yet another heart transplant. An endless wait leads to a medical miracle that makes it all worthwhile. But here’s the kicker: It’s all true, and it’s beautifully written, too.”
--Ted Koppel, author of New York Times bestseller Lights Out
“Friendship is a key element to a happy life and, as Amy Silverstein’s moving memoir demonstrates, friends matter even more when we’re facing a big challenge. Nine remarkable friends helped Amy to survive while she waited for a life-saving heart transplant. This riveting account of what Amy endured—and how her friends supported her—illuminates the power of friendship, for all of us.”
--Gretchen Rubin, New York Times bestselling author of The Happiness Project and Better Than Before
“There’s a special air around crisis that makes true intimacy possible in ways that daily life rarely does. Amy Silverstein has tapped into that moment with a cast of women who will make you pine for your nearest and dearest.”
--Kelly Corrigan, author of the New York Times bestsellers The Middle Place and Glitter and Glue
“A tremendously moving story about the power of female friendship—the incredible way our bonds deepen with age, and a gentle reminder to all of us how important it is to show up for those we love. There is no doubt that readers will recognize their own ‘friend circles’ in these pages and feel a new appreciation for the many miles they’ve walked together.”
--Kathleen Grissom, bestselling author of The Kitchen House and Glory Over Everything
“An intimate celebration of the power of compassion.”
“Skillful…A brave, transparent look at the harrowing battle of a heart-transplant patient who, through the support of her friends, conquers unthinkable odds.”
“In this inspirational memoir of sickness and health, Silverstein pays tribute to the many women who put their lives on hold when she needed them most.”
“Remarkable…My Glory Was I Had Such Friends is about the power of showing up for those you love, no matter the odds, no matter the distance.”
--CBS Sunday Morning
“Memoirs written by people who have survived devastating health issues are common, as are books that celebrate the friend who is an angel-like presence in tough times. My Glory Was I Had Such Friends combines both elements, but in far better fashion than the standard-issue memoir or the typical homage to girlfriends…A potent reminder of the importance of imperfect friends, for loving them for whoever they are…Silverstein proved her writing mettle…She seamlessly knits several important issues into one compelling package.”
--USA Today (3.5/4 stars)
“My Glory Was I Had Such Friends is, at its core, a book about friendship. Silverstein spares no words honestly describing the endless emotions she felt when friends from work, childhood and her community walked alongside her as she waited for a heart…As different as these friends were, they all had common goals that brought them together: a love for Amy and a desperate desire for her to get a new heart. As a result, friendships deepened in courage and perseverance, and a new understanding was born for what it means to say, ‘I’m there’—and truly mean it.”
“An inspiring, heart-warming memoir...Amazing...You can wait for the movie or grab some hankies and start crying now.”