"Bracing and beautiful . . . Every human should read it." —The New York Times
A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice and 2017 Critics' Pick
One of Barack Obama's Favorite Books of 2017
At the age of sixty, Cory Taylor is dying of melanoma-related brain cancer. Her illness is no longer treatable: she now weighs less than her neighbor’s retriever. As her body weakens, she describes the experience—the vulnerability and strength, the courage and humility, the anger and acceptance—of knowing she will soon die.
Written in the space of a few weeks, in a tremendous creative surge, this powerful and beautiful memoir is a clear-eyed account of what dying teaches: Taylor describes the tangle of her feelings, remembers the lives and deaths of her parents, and examines why she would like to be able to choose the circumstances of her death.
Taylor’s last words offer a vocabulary for readers to speak about the most difficult thing any of us will face. And while Dying: A Memoir is a deeply affecting meditation on death, it is also a funny and wise tribute to life.
Australian writer Taylor, who found herself out of treatment options for melanoma-related brain cancer, reflects on the end of her life in this unflinchingly honest memoir. Taylor, who died in 2016, shares her emotions of anger, sadness and worry, especially for her loved ones, as well as her acceptance of the inevitable. She looks back on her childhood and family and recalls the fractured relationships of her parents and siblings, the joy of motherhood, and the unlikely and fantastic life of a writer. Taylor, who wrote the book in just a few weeks, considered the emptiness a nonreligious person such as her might face, and came to terms with it, providing a blueprint for those struggling with the same questions. This slender volume brings a fresh point of view to end-of-life care, the concept of having a sense of control over the unknown, and the role of chance in life. This deep meditation is beautifully written and destined to be an important piece of the conversation surrounding death. Taylor's last testament to life is a welcome departing gift from a thoughtful and inspired author.
Death is not apparent to the living
One aspect of death is that it often eludes us until we face it ourself. Cory Taylor makes death very apparent for those who are still living by describing the process in a very personal, intriguing and comforting way.
Before buying, I had read several positive reviews of this book. I did not find the book all that great. The author's many insights and philosophies about dying are extremely well written. However, they are all in the first chapter and last few pages of the book. The dynamics of her family go on & on and are, frankly, boring.