Shiny Happy Pediatric Cancer


As a novelist, I don’t ordinarily write about things that resemble my own life. I’ve written novels from the point of view of a fish, and adolescent females, but never a man resembling myself. But when my then 7 year old daughter Harmony was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma in February of 2016, I started seeing the lives of my family, responding to the unwelcome guest of cancer, as a story unfolding before me.

The resulting novel, Echo’s Sister, is not my family’s story precisely, but it is very much informed by it. Our cancer story concluded on May 2nd of 2018, when Harmony took her last breath and left her body. But the first draft of Echo’s Sister was finished in June of 2016, when Harmony was very much alive and her prognosis looked good. I think the ambiguous ending stands. We are always somewhere between birth and death, and the…

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