The Work of Human Hands
"Only rarely does a work of nonfiction equal or surpass the novel in the art of storytelling, the play of emotion and the sheer grandeur of human spirit. Alive! by Piers Paul Read was such a book. So was Bruce Chatwin's The Songlines and, more recently, Norman Maclean's Young Men and Fire. To this short list I must add The Work of Human Hands.''
-- Los Angeles Times.
"Worshipful biographies of great surgeons are so common that one must really be special to merit attention. This one is.''
-- Chicago Tribune.
"Mr. Miller reminds us that in the hands of visionary and dedicated doctors, miracles still happen.''
-- New York Times Book Review.
"The sheer drama of it all is gripping throughout.''
-- Vermont Sunday Magazine.
What I would add:
In an era when celebrities are confused with heroes, it was delightful to be able to spend so much time with Hardy Hendren -- who, out of the limelight, has done extraordinary good for so many thousands of sick, dying and birth-defective children. But the fun of writing The Work of Human Hands transcended a portrait of Hardy's surgical genius. Hardy's powerful personality, his unshakeable self-confidence (his nickname: ``Hardly Human''), his stories, his humor, his surprisingly gentle side, the tragedy of his only daughter's death from a disease not even he could cure, his lovely wife Eleanor -- all made for a unique profile, at least in my experience.
Using one of his longest (nearly 24 hours!) and most complicated operations as the narrative, I tried to give readers a glimpse into a world most of us never see. Which, in a nutshell, is what I've endeavored to do in all of my books: take people to places they've never been.