As quickly as his face disappeared, so did his mother and father . . .
Just three days after he was born, Howard Shulman contracted an infection that attacked his face, devouring his nose, lips, lower right eyelid, tear ducts, and upper palate. Abandoned at the hospital by his parents, he became a ward of New Jersey under the care of a state-employed experimental surgeon. Throughout the early years of his life, Howard underwent innumerable skin and bone grafts and reconstructive surgeries that left him with a butchered body and a river of anger coursing through his veins.
Running from the Mirror is the poignant true story of one man’s struggle to survive against staggering odds and create a meaningful life for himself. With unapologetic candor, Howard gives an unflinching account of growing up an outcast, with no family to officially call his own. He tells of how the bullying, ongoing stares, and feelings of alienation added emotional scars to the physical ones he already bore—and of how he avoided mirrors and reflections in windows to escape the horror of a disfigured face looking back at him.
Shuffled between foster homes, Howard is emancipated at sixteen and begins working as a dishwasher, hiding his face as best he can while living in a one-room walk-up. Through street smarts and unwavering tenacity, he eventually finds success as the owner of a popular nightclub in San Diego. Along the way, a European actress, a schoolteacher, and a fiery Latina help transform his life.
A chance event in his late thirties leads him to his birth mother and their first meeting, an encounter that sends him into an emotional spiral. The bittersweet connections with her and her family drive home what it will cost him if he doesn’t make peace with his past.
Filled with heart-wrenching suffering as well as soul-lifting joy, Running from the Mirroris an unforgettable testament to the strength of the human spirit.