Thursday, April 12, 2012

At the End of Life, Non Fiction Essays About the Death Experience

Review C.L. McLean, Publisher International Journal of The Creative Arts in Interdisciplinary Practice IJCAIP

At the End of Life, True Stories About How we Die,” published by Creative Nonfiction Books, Pittsburgh, edited by Lee Gutkind, Founding Editor of “Creative Nonfiction” and Writer in Residence at The Hugh Downs School of Human Communication, is a provocative collection of 21 true stories written by health professionals and laypeople, stories that bear witness to personal experiences of death.

These essays are no easy read. They do not turn away from the facts about death but rather, through the candor of the tellings and the art of storytelling urge us to stay, read on and learn.

The literary non-fiction essays presented in this book provide facts in the context of compelling stories that take the reader on living personal journeys through the death experience. Presented from multiple perspectives the book explores topics such as contending with illness and loss, bearing witness, professional and patient communication, dealing with death within the healthcare system, seeking alternative places to die, finding acceptance and letting go.

At its heart, “At the End of Life, True Stories About How We Die” is a book about love, courage and human survival. We read and we see ourselves grappling with the gravity of what is required of us and we learn how to fight for the dignity of our fathers and mothers. We suffer with the writers through their experiences and know what it is to live through death and carry on.

The book “At the End of Life, True Stories About How We Die,” represents a literary and sacred act of human service as editor and writers share the gift of knowledge, the authenticity of truth and the transformative potential of human experience to help others learn about how we die.