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THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
'A propulsive, soulful story of mourning and gratitude - and an intimate portrait of one woman's sojourn in the wilderness between life and death.'
TARA WESTOVER, author of Educated
We all face moments that bring us to our knees: heartbreak, trauma, illness. When things don't go to plan this is the book to reach for - an inspirational memoir about what we can learn about life from a brush with death.
At just twenty-two, on the cusp of adult life, Suleika Jaouad was diagnosed with leukemia and given a 35 per cent chance of survival. For the next five years, her world comprised four white walls, a hospital bed, fluorescent lights, tubes and wires. She became patient 5624. At twenty-seven, and celebrating her first year of remission, Suleika realized that, having survived, she now had no idea how to live. And so she set out to meet some of the many strangers who had written to her about their experiences of life, death, healing and recovery in response to her Emmy-Award winning New York Times column, 'Life Interrupted'. Between Two Kingdoms is the result. Drawing on Suleika's TED Talk, now with 4 million views, it illuminates universal questions about how we live, mourn, heal and grow up, and what it means to begin again.
Praise for Between Two Kingdoms:
'A work of breathtaking creativity and heart-stopping humanity.' ELIZABETH GILBERT, author of Eat Pray Love
'A beautiful, elegant and heart-breaking book that provides a glimpse into the kingdom of illness.' SIDDHARTHA MUKHERJEE, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Emperor of All Maladies
'No more doomscrolling. Read this book instead... Full of wisdom and resilience.' ADAM GRANT, author of Originals
'A deeply touching account of learning to live in the now, because nothing else is promised. I loved it.' KATHRYN MANNIX, author of With the End in Mind
New York Times columnist Jaouad (Life, Interrupted) makes a phenomenal debut with this big-hearted account of her devastating five-year battle with cancer. Symptoms first surfaced just before her graduation from Princeton, and she moved to Paris unaware of the cancer ravaging her bone marrow. After becoming ill, she returned to her family home in Saratoga, N.Y., and was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia. At 22, she wrote of the diagnosis, "I finally had an explanation for my itch, for my mouth sores, for my unraveling. I wasn't a hypochondriac, after all, making up symptoms." During her treatment, which was documented in a series of blog posts and videos for the Times, she was bolstered by heartfelt letters from readers, including one from a man in Ohio who wrote, "Meaning is not found in the material realm. Meaning is what's left when everything else is stripped away." As Jaouad's cancer went into remission, she felt estranged as fellow cancer patient friends died and her longtime boyfriend left her. Finally, a hundred-day road trip visiting those who wrote her letters guided her "to live again in the aftermath." Every chapter ends with a cliffhanger, adding a surprising level of suspense to a work where the broader outcome isn't in question. This is a stunning memoir, well-crafted and hard to put down.