My Heart vs. the Real World is a photo documentary volume that explores the lives of children with congenital heart disease (CHD) through striking blackandwhite photographs and interviews with subjects and their families. 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 thoughtprovoking, and altogether human.
About the Author: Max S. Gerber is a professional photographer. Born three months premature with bradycardia (an abnormally low heart rate), he has had a pacemaker since the age of eight. His pictures have been published in more than a dozen countries, and in prominent periodicals such as Time, Newsweek, The Village Voice, L.A. Weekly, The Sunday Telegraph Review, DoubleTake Magazine and Los Angeles Magazine.
View the slideshow and hear the author commentary for My Heart vs. the Real World HERE.
Through the powerful use of photographic imagery and personal narratives, Max Gerber gives us an as yet unseen glimpse into the hearts and minds of children and young adults who are growing up with Congenital Heart Defects. The hauntingly beautiful photography accurately portrays the thought provoking reality of their experience.
Mona BarmashPresident, Congenital Heart Information Network
Study every portrait here, read every word of this powerful book, the reward is immeasurable.
Martha BardachContributing Photo Editor/ TIME Magazine
Several of Gerbers photographs are haunting depictions of the children in their toughest momentsin immense pain just after surgery, for example. But because Gerber has shared the childrens experienceshe was born with bradycardia and has a pacemaker – the photographs feel intimate rather than voyeuristic...The way Gerber manages to convey a complex whirl of emotions and qualities, such as determination, vulnerability, and sorrow, in a single frame is partly due to this shared intimacy with his subjects, but it is also down to his innate skill for portraiture.