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Larry's Kidney: Being the Story of How I Found Myself in China with My Black Sheep Cousin and His Mail-Order Bride...by Daniel Asa Rose
Synopses & Reviews
The Adventure of a Lifetime (Really): A Madcap Odyssey of the Heart (& a Kidney) on the Far Side of the Earth (Hello, China!?)
Larry Feldman desperately needed a kidney. After two god-awful years on dialysis, watching his life ebb away while waiting on a transplant list behind 74,000 other Americans, the gun-toting couch potato decided to risk everything and travel to China, the controversial kingdom of organ transplants. But Larry urgently needed his cousin Daniel's help...even though they have been on the outs with each other for years.
Sure, Chinese law forbids transplants to Westerners, but that didn't faze Larry. He was confident he could shake out a single pre-loved kidney from the country's 1.3 billion people. But wait: Larry was never one to "not" get his money's worth. Since he was already shelling out for a trip to China, he decided to make it a twofer: He arranged to pick up an (e-)mail-order bride while he was at it. After a tireless search on the Internet, he already knew the woman he wanted.
Backed by a quarter-million-dollar disability settlement (was it the icicle falling on his head or the truck rear-ending him?) and armed with an all-purpose letter of recommendation from a devoted nun, Larry ventured forth from his Florida condo on an unlikely search for life and love in the most cryptic country on earth. Conflicted about the ethical issues surrounding medical tourism, and with no time to cultivate even a single Chinese contact, Daniel left the next day, on his own dime.
So begins the quest of two star-crossed cousins to rejuvenate Larry's failing body and ever-romantic heart, while avoiding getting tossed into a Chinese slammer. An unforgettable adventure filled with Red Guards who waltz at midnight and former enemies who prove more true than family, Larry's Kidney is the funniest yet most heartwarming book of the year.
"Larry's Kidney," a stranger-than-fiction memoir by Daniel Asa Rose, serves as an enjoyable testament to the lengths to which we sometimes go to help family, even when doing so is a terrible, terrible idea. The absurdly long subtitle — "Being the Story of How I Found Myself in China with My Black Sheep Cousin and His Mail-Order Bride, Skirting the Law to Get Him a Transplant — and Save His Life"... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review) — should come with a spoiler alert. It's not giving too much away to reveal that the plot involves a guy named Larry, who somehow persuaded his long-lost cousin, Daniel Rose, editor of the literary magazine the Reading Room, to leave his wife and kids behind and accompany him to China. There Larry hoped to get an illegal kidney transplant and meet his bride-to-be. The ensuing adventure is the stuff of slapstick comedy, as Rose and Larry navigate the Chinese black market, the dodgy medical establishment and their own relationship. It's curious and occasionally tense, especially when after all that trouble Larry threatens to call off the operation if it's going to be too expensive. Though their odyssey was a success in the end, Rose makes the moral of the story clear: "Don't try to go to China for a kidney. We got the last one." Reviewed by Andrew Ervin, Washington Post Book World (Copyright 2006 Washington Post Book World Service/Washington Post Writers Group)
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"Rose's writing is by turns hyperbolic and hallucinatory....Sometimes slapstick, sometimes caustic, Larry's Kidney is also sweet and thoughtful as Daniel finds himself improbably falling in love with China." Shelf Awareness
"[A] side-splitting tour de force....Second-time memoirist Rose recounts their exploits with an insuperable wit that will appeal to readers who crave unrelenting humor." Library Journal
"The rare comedy that is also a page-turner." Boston Globe
A wild-and-crazy memoir, Larry's Kidney chronicles the author's trip to Beijing to help his black-sheep cousin receive an illegal kidney transplant, collect a mail-order bride, and restore East-West relations while they're at it.
About the Author
Daniel Asa Rose has won an O. Henry Prize, two PEN Fiction Awards, and an NEA Fellowship. Formerly arts and culture editor of Forward and currently an editor of the international literary magazine the Reading Room, he has written for the New Yorker, Esquire, Vanity Fair, GQ, and the New York Times Magazine, and is the author of the acclaimed memoir Hiding Places: A Father and His Sons Retrace Their Family's Escape from the Holocaust. He lives in a colonial farmhouse in Massachusetts.
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