‘Dr. Mütter’s Marvels’ author returns to Brooklyn for book talk

Brooklyn BookBeat

September 24, 2015 Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz, author of “Dr. Mütter’s Marvels.” Photo by Dan Winters
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In celebration of the paperback release of The New York Times bestselling nonfiction book “Dr. Mütter’s Marvels,” author Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz will return to the Morbid Anatomy Museum on Sept. 28 for a conversation about life, death and writing with writer/director/actress Amber Tamblyn, author of the recently released “Dark Sparkler.”

The event will take place from 8 to 10 p.m. (424 Third Ave.)

With “Dr. Mütter’s Marvels,” Aptowicz uncovers the true story of Thomas Dent Mutter, a surgeon who specialized in reconstructive surgery on the severely deformed in a time before anathema. The Wall Street Journal wrote that Aptowicz “rescued Mütter the man from undeserved obscurity, recreating his short life and hard times with wit, energy and gusto… a reminder that the courts of human suffering and the progress of medical science are often messy, complex and stranger than be imagined.”

The book, which includes more than six dozen illustrations of Mutter’s life and often heavily deformed patients, made numerous “Best Books of 2014” lists (including Amazon, NPR’s Science Friday, The Onion’s AV Club and more) and stayed on The New York Times Best Seller List for three months.

With “Dark Sparkler,” Tamblyn dives deeps and devastatingly into the world of Hollywood, chronicling the lives and deaths of more than 30 actresses who died too young. The book ends with a brutally honest epilogue chronicling the author’s own trajectory as a child star actress and the experience of writing poems about dead actresses. Illustrated with numerous original artwork and portraits of the women by such luminaries as Marcel Dzama, Marilyn Manson, David Lynch and Tamblyn’s own father, actor Russ Tamblyn, The Guardian called “Dark Sparkler” “a haunting and extraordinarily daring work.”

Aptowicz and Tamblyn will discuss the good, the bad and the unsettling of researching and writing about suffering, illness and death, and what lessons they have learned — as writers and as human beings — in writing and releasing their books.

The conversation will be followed by a brief Q&A and signing. The event is ticketed and costs $5.

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