The Bone Bridge: A Brother’s Story

Winner of the 2016 IPPY Award

Ippy Award

The Bone Bridge: A Brother’s Story

by Yarrott Benz

We all wonder if we would do the right thing if called upon … even if it meant risking our own lives and sense of self. In The Bone Bridge: A Brother’s Story, author Yarrott Benz is forced to deal with extraordinary self-sacrifice. This is the harrowing account of teenage brothers, as different as night and day, trapped together in a dramatic medical dilemma—a modern miracle and a modern nightmare. The only case like it in history, the true story unfolds over thirteen years as the two brothers navigate through their enmeshed lives with all that they feel for each other: hatred and love, rejection and acceptance, disdain and respect. Despite painful and violent conflicts, Yarrott must bear the full responsibility of keeping his brother alive. In our world of the individual, where careerism, ego and personal gain are key, The Bone Bridge describes a vastly different human situation. It is a beautifully crafted, affecting story, honest and raw, and also one in which the reader invariably asks, What would I have done?

2016 IPPY Award Gold Medalist for Memoir

The Bone Bridge website

discussion with the author in Lambda Literary Review

Selected praise:

“Part family memoir, part medical thriller, part coming out story—Benz has a remarkable tale to tell and he tells it beautifully. I cannot recommend it too highly.”  —Christopher Bram, author of Gods and Monsters and Eminent Outlaws

The Bone Bridge: A Brother’s Story by Yarrott Benz is a book that deserves a large and appreciative audience for the simple reason that it is the best memoir written in recent years, one that hits the reader like a punch to the gut and leaves him, in turns, devastated, inspired, traumatized, and enlightened by Benz’s brother Charley’s story and his own… The chapters involving the brother’s long march to death and the slow loss of his heartbeat are among the best ever committed to print… The Bone Bridge is not an easy book to read, but it is of a quality and a resonating truth that it demands to be read and shared and discussed and taught.”  —Vinton Rafe McCabe, The New York Journal of Books

The Bone Bridge is so clearly written, involving and human that it achieves the same power as Death Be Not Proud by John Gunther, Borrowed Time by Paul Monette and The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion.”  —Christopher Bram, Lambda Literary Review

“Benz looks at the situation with an absolutely unsparing eye. His candor is terrifying as he explores how keeping his brother alive actually threatens to destroy parts of both their lives. Benz’s story is compulsively readable. He balances science, philosophy, and family drama with the assurance of a pro. But Benz never wallows in pity or plays anything close to the victim card. … The Bone Bridge, then, is probably one of the finest memoirs I have ever read; one that tells its own story while making you wonder what you would do if you were in his shoes. Highly, highly recommended.”  —Jerry L. Wheeler, Out in Print: Queer Book Reviews

“Yarrott Benz now enters the literary field with a book that by all factors of judging should be at the top of the list for several categories of awards.”  —Grady Harp, Literary Aficionado

“I have read many memoirs and autobiographies but there are very few that have pulled me like this one did. I actually sat down and read the entire book in one afternoon; I was so engrossed in the story and the people involved.”  —Amos Lassen, Amos Lassen Reviews

“An American classic. An emotional journey that touches on the core of what it means to be family, to love unconditionally, and to find oneself.”  —Dominic Cappello, author of Ten Talks about Violence

The Bone Bridge is a powerful story of life’s inscrutable contradictions. Perceptive and sensitive, this is a literary treat.”  —Jan Tussing, Hessischer Rundfunk, German Public Radio

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