Immortal Bird

A Family Memoir

Immortal Bird

A searing account of a father’s struggle to save his remarkable son from a rare heart condition that threatens his life—“a powerful and lyric portrait of a son and a vibrant family” (Toni Morrison).

Damon Weber is a brilliant kid—a skilled actor and a natural leader at school. Born with a congenital heart defect that required surgery when he was a baby, Damon’s spirit and independence have always been a source of pride to his parents, who vigilantly look for any signs of danger.

Unbowed by frequent medical checkups, Damon proves to be a talent on stage, appears in David Milch’s HBO series Deadwood, and maintains an active social life, whenever he has the energy. But running through Damon’s coming-of-age in the shadow of affliction is another story: his father Doron’s relentless search for answers in a race against time.

Immortal Bird is a stirring, gorgeously written memoir of a father’s fight to save his son’s life.
  • Simon & Schuster | 
  • 368 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781451618075 | 
  • February 2013
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Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for Immortal Bird includes an introduction, discussion questions, ideas for enhancing your book club, and a Q&A with author Doron Weber. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.


Damon Weber was born with a malformed heart. By the time he was four years old, he’d had two open heart surgeries. The second, an operation known as the Fontan procedure, seemed to solve his circulatory problems. But eight years later, teenaged Damon begins to experience new and puzzling issues. He’s diagnosed with a protein imbalance called PLE, a condition that occurs in approximately 10 percent of children who have had the Fontan operation. All of the Webers’ attempts to manage the condition come to nothing, and they make the weighty decision to put Damon up for a heart transplant—an operation that should both cure his protein imbalance, and eliminate all of his cardiovascular health problems. But in a wrenching reversal of expectations, an infection caused by the transplant costs Damon his life and the Webers their son.

Immortal Bird, written by Damon’s father Doron, takes the reader through Damon’s life, revealing a strong and talented boy who, despite enormous odds, l see more

About the Author

Doron Weber
© Harvey Wang

Doron Weber

Doron Weber was born in Israel, grew up in New York, and was educated at Brown University and Oxford. He has worked as a newspaper boy, busboy, waiter, and taxi driver and is the coauthor of three published nonfiction books and various articles. For fifteen years he has worked at the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, a nonprofit that supports science and education.