New York Native Publishes Riveting True Story of Italian Jews

A Dermatologist from Brooklyn is making waves in the literary world after the publication of his debut novel, “This Magnificent Dappled Sea."

A Dermatologist from Brooklyn is making waves in the literary world after the publication of his debut novel, “This Magnificent Dappled Sea.”

Italian American author, David Biro, published this novel on November 1, 2020. Since its publication, Biro has received praise across the globe including from fellow best-selling author Adriana Trigiani. 

“David Biro has written a glorious novel about connections over time, through war and displacement, to life affirming twists of fate that change the course of the lives of Luca Taviano, an Italian boy and Joseph Neiman, a rabbi. Grief and love are intertwined in the experience of Italian Jews and this beautiful novel tells that story weaving in and out of time as secrets are revealed and redemption is lost and found. Bravo!” 

—Adriana Trigiani, bestselling author of The Shoemaker’s Wife

“This Magnificent Dappled Sea” takes place in the early 1990s and centers around a nine-year-old, Luca Taviano, lives in a small North Italian village where a stubborn cold is subsequently diagnosed as a virulent case of leukemia.

Taviano’s only hope for survival is a bone marrow transplant. After an exhaustive search, a match turns up three thousand miles away in the form of a most unlikely donor: Joseph Neiman, a rabbi in Brooklyn, New York, who is suffering from a debilitating crisis of faith. Luca’s grandmother, Letizia, is surprised to learn of her grandson’s Ashkenazi DNA profile, but Luca’s young nurse, Nina, is intrigued by the unlikely match and researches his family history, risking her career and racing against time to help save him. Through the course of her research, she uncovers terrible secrets from World War II—secrets that reveal how a Catholic child could have Jewish genes.

What makes this story even more interested is that it was inspired by a true story. Biro, who is a physician himself, was the recipient of a successful bone marrow transplant. This novel was also inspired by a true story David Biro read about in the NYTimes in 2000, where in a young Italian boy did in fact receive a transplant from a Brooklyn Rabbi.

“This Magnificent Dappled Sea” explores how two strangers—generations and oceans apart—have a chance to save each other. Can inheritance be transcended by accidents of love? That is the question at the heart of a novel that challenges the idea of identity and celebrates the ties that bind us all together.

Biro graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, Columbia Medical School, and Oxford University. He teaches at SUNY Downstate Medical Center and practices dermatology in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. Biro currently lives in New York City with his wife and twin boys. 

To purchase “This Magnificent Dappled Sea” click here.

For more information on Biro, visit www.davidbiro.com

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