George Estreich


Winner of the Oregon Book Award


A People pick of the week


Starred review from Booklist


“In this wise and moving memoir, George Estreich tells the story of his family as his younger daughter, Laura, is diagnosed with Down Syndrome and they are thrust into an unexpected, unfamiliar world. . . . Engaging and unsentimental, The Shape of the Eye taught me a great deal. It is also a book I couldn't put down, a story I found myself thinking about long after I'd finished the final pages.”

Kim Edwards, author of The Memory Keeper's Daughter


“Memoir, a genre sometimes maligned as self-indulgent and narcissistic, finds in Estreich a practitioner who brings deserved dignity to the form.”

Madeline Blais, author of In These Girls, Hope Is a Muscle. From the judge’s citation for the 2012 Oregon Book Award in Creative Nonfiction.


“This is a poignant, beautifully written and intensely moving memoir.”

Abraham Verghese, author of Cutting for Stone


This book is beautifully written, poetically insightful, and personally transformative. To read it is to rethink everything and to be happy because of the journey.”


Timothy P. Shriver, Ph.D., Chairman & CEO of Special Olympics

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Read an excerpt

    We were waiting for our family doctor. I felt—not serene, but expectant. Uncertain. Theresa lifted Laura from her car seat and set her, still sleeping, on the clean white paper of the exam table. I got out colored pencils and a notebook for Ellie. We were paging through magazines when Dr. E. came in, knocking softly. He closed the door, crossed the room, and turned towards us.

    "We got the lab tests back," he said. "Nancy called and had them faxed down here." He paused.

    "Laura does have Down syndrome," he said.

    Ellie was coloring quietly. From where I was standing, I could see the first tears forming in Theresa's eyes.

     "I believe," he said, "that these children come to the families most able to take care of them." read more

Now available from Tarcher/Penguin:

The Shape of the Eye, in paperback and e-book

with a new afterword by the author