TRANSPLANT: A MEMOIR

Transplant: A Memoir

Bernardine Watson

Washington Writers’ Publishing House

Winner of the Inaugural WWPH Creative Nonfiction Award

October 3, 2023

ISBN: 978-1-941551-36-3/$21.95 Support Independent Bookstores and your Washington Writers’ Publishing House by ordering your book via www.bookshop.org

“Dine says she wrote the book in part to raise awareness about kidney disease and the needs of the less fortunate among us. That and the love story make it well worth the read.” — WASHINGTON POST story on Bernardine “Dine” Watson’s path to publication on October 18, 2023


We think of a transplant as a surgical procedure, but Bernardine Watson’s memoir makes it clear that it’s also a journey. Transplant: A Memoir transports the reader along the path of hopes dashed, then revived, despair, courage, faith, and love. Watson’s strikingly visual prose is also intimate. We’re always in the same space with her, seeing, hearing and feeling exactly what she does. It’s a journey toward life. — Kojo Nnamdi, Host of The Politics Hour with Kojo Nnamdi, WAMU-FM

African Americans represent 13% of the US population but account for nearly 35% of people with kidney failure in the US. Bernardine Watson’s account of living with a rare kidney disease depicts just how real these statistics are. It is vital that patient advocacy organizations like NephCure and patients like Watson continue to raise awareness and fight for more innovation in the kidney disease space.”

Kelly Helm, Executive Director of Patient Engagement at NephCure

Bernardine Watson has written a beautiful memoir about the struggle to maintain health while living with a potentially lethal disease. But Transplant: A Memoir is mostly a book about becoming: a woman, a mother, a member of a family she learns to love better, and a loved and treasured soul mate. Through her struggle, she becomes much more than her disease and bigger and braver than she could have imagined. — Marita Golden, Author, Creative Writing Coach, Literary Consultant

Bernardine Watson has delivered a brave, inspiring memoir of resilience against long odds, of her struggle to stay healthy and hopeful as she battled a rare, incurable kidney disease. In Transplant: A Memoir, Dine’s spirit–and sometimes her anger–leaps off the pages, grabs you, holds you and ultimately lifts you. This is a story for all of us. — Kevin Merida, Co-Author of Supreme Discomfort: The Divided Soul of Clarence Thomas

With honesty and humor, Bernardine Watson takes us on her personal journey to conquer kidney disease, a health condition disproportionately affecting Black people and other people of color in the US. Transplant: A Memoir is also an adult love story, celebrating the power of care and kindness in building a strong relationship. — Louis Massiah, Documentarian and Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholar at Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Transplant: A Memoir is a page-turning, personal journey into one Black woman’s battle with kidney disease and the American medical system. Bernardine Watson’s book is at once a truth-telling and an affirmation of the life force propelling us all toward love and hope. A vibrant, powerful portrait of what it means to be Black, female, and confronting a deadly disease in today’s America.


Bernardine (Dine) Watson is a nonfiction writer and poet, originally from Philadelphia, but who now lives in Washington, DC.  She has written on social policy issues for numerous major foundations, nonprofit organizations, and for The Washington Post Health and Science section and She the People blog. Her poetry has been published in numerous journals and anthologies, including Beltway Poetry Quarterly, Rising Voices/ University Professors Press, Sanctuary/ Darkhouse Books, and The Great World of Days/ Day Eight Arts. Dine is a member of the 2015 class of the DC Commission on Arts and Humanities Poet in Progress Program and was selected to participate in the 2017 and 2018 classes of the Hurston Wright Foundation’s Summer Writers’ Workshop for Poetry. She is a member of Day Eight Art’s Board of Directors. 

More about her remarkable story here: www.kidney.org/newsletter/fighting-fsgs

More on her website: www.bernardinewatson.com

Join us at the Launch Readings for TRANSPLANT: A MEMOIR (Free and Open to All)

Saturday, October 14 at 3 pm – Politics & Prose -5015 Connecticut Avenue NW – Washington DC 20008

Sunday, October 22 at 3 pm (wine and cheese reception to follow) – Writer’s Center– 4508 Walsh Street, Bethesda, MD 20815

Each September 1-November 1, the Washington Writers’ Publishing House reads through over a hundred manuscripts from writers in DC, Maryland, and Virginia. Winners are selected (blind selection process) by past contest winners, who comprise both WWPH’s judging and editorial volunteer staff. Manuscript contests are open from September 1-November 1. We strongly encourage interested writers to read our recent past winners.