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In 2004, 53-year-old Howard Staab was battling two sources of heart trouble: a leaking mitral valve that threatened to kill him and the $200,000 price tag it would cost to repair it. Staab, ­like 43 million Americans, was uninsured. In State of the Heart: A Medical Tourist’s True Story of Lifesaving Surgery in India, Staab’s partner, Maggi Ann Grace, documents the couple’s frightening search for an affordable cure. They find it across the globe, at New Delhi’s Escorts Heart Institute, which offered the procedure for a dirt-cheap $10,000. But the price tag came with a forced vacation, a bizarre medical journey that made Staab and Grace the institute’s first American customers—and granted them an odd celebrity status. “We are experiencing the sort of well-oiled plan that pulls off successful bank heists and abductions in movies,” writes Grace, who oscillates between gratitude and fear throughout the book. “Everyone in the right place at just the right moment, handing us off like batons, without a hitch.” Grace discusses and signs copies of her work at noon at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, 901 G St. NW. Free. (202) 727-1180.