A new biography, Dr. Mütter's Marvels, which details the life of Dr. Mütter, who transformed monsters into men with cutting edge surgery, is on-sale today.

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Dr. Mütter’s strange, inspiring and untold story is finally revealed by award winning author Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz in a new biography, Dr. Mütter's Marvels: A True Tale of Intrigue and Innovation at the Dawn of Modern Medicine

“Aptowicz shows Mütter, beloved by his students, evolving from a mischievous, impatient young doctor to an increasingly spiritual man beset by premature illness, and her writing is as full of life as her subject.”-- Publishers Weekly

Based on 15 years of research and illustrated with dozens of historical (and exclusive) photographs, DR. MÜTTER’S MARVELS: A True Tale of Intrigue and Innovation at the Dawn of Modern Medicine (Gotham; September 4, 2014) delves deep into the life of a man who was truly ahead of his time.

Written by poet and author Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz, the book reveals Mütter’s early years as an orphan and time spent studying cutting-edge surgery in Paris, to his struggles to establish himself in Philadelphia amidst the outrageous rivalries among his fellow doctors—many of whom publicly mocked Mütter’s philosophies and innovations, including his devotion to pre-and post-operative care, employing anesthesia, and even the sterilization of his tools.

The deluxe eBook edition of DR. MÜTTER’S MARVELS includes over one hour of audio in which author Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz shares facts, stories and insights about Dr. Mütter and his contemporaries that she discovered in her research but didn’t make it into the printed book.

Through Mütter’s humanist eyes, we are given a front row seat to the evolution of American medicine: from bleedings and leechings to the standardization of medical schools; from the discovery of anesthesia to his community’s frustrating resistance to washing hands and sterilizing tools; from the unimaginable medical cases provoked from the rise of industrialism, to the challenges and innovations birthed as the country marched toward the Civil War.

Although he only lived for 47 years, Mütter’s impact within medicine is still felt, and his legacy lives on with his enormously popular namesake museum. And now, with DR. MÜTTER’S MARVELS, his strange, inspiring and untold story can finally be shared.

Highlight Reel
**Read the Wall Street Journal’s front page review of Dr. Mütter’s Marvels.
**USA Today mentions Dr. Mütter in “The Week in Books.”
**A.V Club calls Dr. Mütter’s Marvels “narrative non-fiction at its best.”
**Read the Asbury Park Press interview with Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz.
**BookPage reviews Dr. Mütter’s Marvels, calling it “an insightful portrait of a pioneering surgeon and a reminder of how far medicine has come.”
**Read Library Journal's starred review in the September 1st issue.
**Publishers Weekly announced Dr. Mütter’s Marvels in Galley Talk.
**Read the Publishers Weekly starred review of Dr. Mütter’s Marvels, calling Aptowicz’s writing “as full of life as her subject.”
**Read Kirkus Reviews starred review of Dr. Mütter’s Marvels, “the author provides an absorbing account of the charismatic surgeon’s life and career as well as a vivid look at the medical practices and prejudices of his time.”
**Mashable writes “If You Think 'The Knick' Patients Have it Bad ... Go Back 50 Years.”
**Read the Metro Philadelphia interview with Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz

Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz is the author of six books of poetry (most recently, The Year of No Mistakes) as well as the nonfiction book, Words In Your Face: A Guided Tour Through Twenty Years of the New York City Poetry Slam, which Billy Collins wrote “leaves no doubt that the slam poetry scene has achieved legitimacy and taken its rightful place on the map of contemporary literature.”

On the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) podcast Art Works, host Josephine Reed introduced Cristin as being “something of a legend in NYC’s slam poetry scene. She is lively, thoughtful, and approachable looking to engage the audience with her work and deeply committed to the community that art … can create.”

In July 2010, she was named the 2010-2011 ArtsEdge Writer-in-Residence at the University of Pennsylvania, where she spent the year researching and writing a book on Thomas Dent Mütter, founder of the Philadelphia’s (in)famous Mütter Museum. She would also be awarded a 2011 National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Poetry and an Amy Clampitt House residency, both of which helped to support the finishing of this book.


  • 9/4/14, Philadelphia, PA: Book Release
  • 9/5/14, Philadelphia, PA: The Rotunda
  • 9/8/14, Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania
  • 9/9/14, New York, NY: Urbana Poetry Slam
  • 9/10/14 (noon), West Windsor, NJ: Mercer College
  • 9/10/14 (7pm), Brooklyn, NY: Morbid Anatomy Museum
  • 9/13/14, New York, NY: Magnet Theater
  • 9/15/14 (1-3pm), Reddit.com: Reddit AMA
  • 9/16/14, Philadelphia, PA: Free Library of Philadelphia
  • 9/19/14, Austin, TX: Bookpeople
  • 9/24/14, Columbus, OH: Writer's Block Poetry Slam
  • 9/25/14, Columbus, OH: Writer's Block Workshop
  • 9/26/14, Columbus, OH: Book Loft
  • 9/28/14, Ann Arbor, MI: Nicola's Bookstore
  • 10/4/14, Chicago, IL: Quimby's Bookstore
  • 10/5/14, Chicago, IL: Green Mill Poetry Slam
  • 10/11/14, Minneapolis, MN: Encyclopedia Show
  • 10/13/14, Minneapolis, MN: Magers & Quinn Bookseller
  • 10/14/14, Minneapolis, MN: Storytelling Show
  • 10/15/14, Minneapolis, MN: The Loft Literary Center
  • 10/16/14, Mankato, MN: University of MN, Mankato
  • 10/17/14, Omaha, NE: Louder than a Bomb Workshop
  • 10/18/14, Omaha, NE: The Bookworm
  • 10/18/14, Omaha, NE: Louder than a Bomb Fundraiser
  • 10/20/14, Iowa City, IA: Prairie Lights Bookstore
  • 10/25/14, Austin, TX: Texas Book Festival
  • 10/26/14, Austin, TX: Texas Book Festival
  • 11/3/14, Portland, OR: Powell's City of Books
  • 11/4/14, Seattle, WA: Seattle Poetry Slam
  • 11/5/14, Seattle, WA: Rain City Poetry Slam
  • 11/8/14, Seattle WA: Elliott Bay Book Company
  • 11/12/14, Vancouver, CANADA: Vancouver Poetry Slam
  • 11/13/14, Vancouver, CANADA: Book Warehouse

Gotham Books | September 2014 | Hardcover | eBook| Deluxe eBook
978-1592408702 | 384 pp
Also available as Penguin Random House Digital Audio

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