The eldest of Dr. Jack
SS: It's never been very difficult for me to write what
and Mickey Shapiro's
I want. My parents, originally New Yorkers (and still
four children and the
living in West Bloomfield), are very cool and open-
only girl, she analyzes her minded. They raised four independent thinkers. They
place in the family, one
never cared if we disagreed with them, as long as we
mostly made up of men
could intelligently articulate our view.
and medicine, and close-
My first piece in Cosmopolitan, when I was in my
ly examines her relation-
early 20s, was a funny essay about my complex rela-
ship with her mother.
tionship with my mother. She left a message on my
Shapiro quotes other writers, culls
machine that said, "You
her friendships and relies on the steady
made me sound like a
presence of her husband and her own
bimbo, and I'm writing a
questioning, mostly through the help
rebuttal on a daughter who
of Dr. G., her therapist, whose voice is
lies about her mother all
heard in her head as she progresses.
the time. "
Any woman struggling to become
Luckily everyone in my
more actualized can relate to Shapiro's
family has a great sense of
quest, which often is punctuated with
humor. They can be very
advice — as well as libidinous
proud of the accomplish-
accounts of her romantic life.
ment of my book without
Her present voice reflects back into
loving every word.
her past, finally at peace with not having
a child, and full of the knowledge that
she's happy with the life she's created: a
JN: Did writing humor
cozy Greenwich Village apartment, good
come naturally? Or are
In her book, Susan Shapiro offers
work and a loving spouse who is clearly
there certain things you
thanks to "my warm, wonderful
the right man for her (she calls him
do to help facilitate it?
who said, "Go ahead,
"Aaron" — not his real name — in the
, SS: I was a fan of the con-
tell the whole world you're in therapy'
book to protect his privacy).
fessional poets — Sylvia
The men who broke Shapiro's heart
Plath, Anne Sexton, Robert
ultimately led her to the love of her life, a fitting les-
Lowell, Ted Hughes — so maybe they gave me per-
son for a book released in time for Valentine's Day.
mission to spill my gut s.
In college and grad school at N.Y.U., I wrote
JN: Was it difficult for you to write about events
gut-wrenching poetry. As I got older, the same sto-
that you knew your family would disapprove,..of?
ries came out funnier. I guess I lightened up,
Affairs Of The Heart
Former Detroiter writes memoir about former loves
— and finds out what really went wrong.
Special to the Jewish News
usan Shapiro's Five Men Who Broke My .
Heart (Delacorte Press; $21.95) is a wise,
funny and moving memoir that gives
birth to a new, original voice.
The New York-based author, on the brink of turning
40, was going through her "no-book-no-baby summer"
when an ex-beau — who wasn't even a writer — called
her for help in promoting his new book.
After asking him the questions she'd always longed
to about their failed relationship, she embarks on a
search to track down other past loves in an effort to
understand what really happened from a more
Shapiro packs it all in with a punch as she traces
her life and loves from age 13 to 35, from her West
Bloomfield upbringing to her life in Manhattan.
The book is sprinkled with many local references,
from the Roeper School and Camp Tamarack to the
University of Michigan.
Cindy Frenkel, a Huntington Woods-based freelance
writer, worked with Susan Shapiro at the New Yorker
during the l980s.
New book suggests that heart attacks — like polio
— can become a thing of the past.
Special to the Jewish News
eter Salgo doesn't wait until
Valentine's Day to think
about matters of the heart.
He does it every day
throughout the year — in a literal
sense — as he treats cardiac patients
and follows a' personal regimen newly
thought to prevent heart attacks.
Salgo; associate director of the Open
Heart Intensive Care Unit at New
York Presbyterian Hospital in New
York City, would like to see the gener-
al public giving daily attention to their
own hearts — also in a literal sense —
and heed the routine he describes in
The Heart of the Matter: The Three Key
Breakthroughs to Preventing Heart
Attacks (William Morrow Publishers;
$24.95), written with Joe Layden.
Salgo actually considers himself a
doctor with a mission — telling the
public about a routine he's learned
many heart specialists and their fami-
lies already are following.
Salgo's recommendations, based on
recent medical findings suggesting that
the bacteria chlamydia pneumonia is
the root cause of heart attacks, include
having people tested and treated for
the pathogen using any one of many
antibiotics and taking daily doses of a
statin medication to control choles-
terol and baby aspirin to combat
inflammation in the blood vessels that
feed the heart.
The routine and the reasons behind
his recommendations are fully
explored in. the book, which also
explains why he believes diet and exer-
cise alone will not prevent an attack.
"We are on the cusp of a change in
our ability to turn back the clock on
death," insists Salgo, also an Emmy
Award-winning medical journalist
who teaches at Columbia University
School of Medicine. "We are at the
edge of saying that people died of pre-
mature heart attacks before this time
but didn't afterwards. It is that power-
ful, dramatic and important.
"Heart attack research is at a point
comparable to where we were with
infectious disease just before penicillin
came into use, where we were with
polio just before the Salk vaccine
became widespread and where we were
with cavities just before the fluorida-
tion of water."
Salgo begins his book by explaining
research done by Steven Nissen and
others into ways the heart works and
describes how soft plaque develops
from cholesterol, becomes a breeding
ground for bacteria, leads to inflam-
mation and ultimately damages the
heart. He then goes on to explore the
components of medical approaches
with which he agrees and disagrees.
"The book synthesizes a lot of what
has been brewing for a very long time
in medicine and puts all that in one
place where everybody can get at it in
language that everyone can under-
stand," says Salgo, who recently
addressed a medical group in Saginaw
about the issues he raises.
"If you take a survey of does in
America, a substantial number are tak-
ing a statin a day and an aspirin a day
without telling the American public
because of costs, and that's not fair.
There's a tidal wave of literature corn-
ing out now, and I've never seen any-
thing other than support for the pro-
gram in the book."
Salgo reports that researchers are not
sure at what age this regimen should
begin, but they assert that sooner is
better than later, especially if diseases
such as diabetes are involved.
Although women tend to have heart