After service in Vietnam as a surgeon in 1968-69, Dr. Gordon Livingston returned to the U.S. and began work as a psychiatrist. In that capacity, he has listened to people talk about their lives and the limitless ways that they have found to be unhappy. He is also a parent twice bereaved. In one thirteen-month period, he lost his eldest son to suicide, his youngest to leukemia. Out of a lifetime of experience, Livingston has extracted thirty bedrock truths: We are what we do. Any relationship is under the control of the person who cares the least. The perfect is the enemy of the good. Only bad things happen quickly. Forgiveness is a form of letting go, but they are not the same thing. The statute of limitations has expired on most of our childhood traumas. Livingston illuminates these and twenty-four others in perfectly calibrated essays, many of which emphasize our closest relationships and the things that we do to impede or enhance them. These writings underscore that "we are what we do," and that while there may be no escaping who we are, we have the capacity to face loss, misfortune, and regret, and to move beyond them.
Gordon Livingston has been through many kinds of hell and come back with wisdom and kindness that are to be revered. To read him is to trust him and to learn, for his life has been touched by fire, and his motives are absolutely pure. - Mark Helprin, author of 'A Soldier of the Great War' and 'Winter s Tale' This book has the power of a sledgehammer and the tenderness of the saddest love story. Be prepared to cry your heart out and learn about coping, about strength, and about hope. - Ben Bradlee, former executive editor, WashingtonPost on 'Only Spring'
Gordon Livingston, MD, a graduate of West Point and the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, has been a physician since 1967. He is a psychiatrist and writer who frequently contributes to the Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, Baltimore Sun and Reader s Digest. Awarded the Bronze Star for valour for his service in the Vietnam War, he is the author of Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart, And Never Stop Dancing and Only Spring: On Mourning the Death of My Son. He lives and works in Columbia, Maryland, USA. His next book, How to Love, will be published by Hachette Australia in 2009. Previous Books: Only Spring (Bfmt PB, 11/06); And Never Stop Dancing; Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart.