A deeply moving reflection on what matters to us most as we approach the end of life
'Our time together is limited and exceedingly precious. We write to make sense of our existence, even as it sweeps us into the darkest zones of physical decline, and death.'
After spending a lifetime together, Irvin and Marilyn Yalom confront in alternating chapters the reality of Marilyn's terminal cancer diagnosis in this profoundly moving, tender and loving memoir. From Irvin's work in psychotherapy examining our fear of death, compounded with personal experience, A MATTER OF DEATH AND LIFE seeks to answer questions that we all hold about the end of our lives: How much are we willing to bear to stay alive? How can we end our days as painlessly as possible? How can we gracefully leave this world to the next generation?
Told at first in alternating chapters between them, completed in the aftermath of Marilyn's death, A MATTER OF DEATH AND LIFE is an unforgettable portrait of love and unflinchingly examines what it means to live and die well.
Irvin Yalom is Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry at Stanford University. He has won two major awards from the American Psychiatric Association and is the bestselling author of Love's Executioner, Momma and the Meaning of Life and The Gift of Therapy. He continues to run his clinical practice and lectures widely.
Marilyn Yalom was a historian and author. She was a senior scholar at the Clayman Institute for Gender Research at Stanford University, and a professor of French. She served as the institute's director from 1984 to 1985. Her books included A History of the Breast, A History of the Wife, The American Resting Place, and How the French Invented Love. Yalom was decorated by the French government as an Officier des Palmes Academiques in 1991, and she received an Alumnae Achievement Award from Wellesley College in 2013. She died on 20 November 2019 from multiple myeloma, a form of cancer that affects the bone marrow.