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Getting to Know Death: A Meditation

About the Book

Getting to Know Death: A Meditation

From New York Times bestselling, three-time National Book Award finalist Gail Godwin, a consideration of what makes for a life well lived-for readers of Oliver Sacks' GRATITUDE and Deborah Levy's COST OF LIVING.

I can't see a way out of this.
Things will not necessarily get better.
This is my life, but I may not get to do what I want in it.

Ingmar Bergman once said that an artist should always have one work between himself and death. When renowned author Gail Godwin tripped and broke her neck while watering the dogwood tree in her garden at age 85, a lifetime of writing and publishing behind her and a half-finished novel in tow, Bergman's idea quickly unfurled in front of her, forcing her to confront a creative life interrupted.

In GETTING TO KNOW DEATH, Godwin shares what spoke to her while in a desperate place. Remembering those she has loved and survived, including a brother and father lost to suicide, and finding meaning in the encounters she has with other patients as she heals, she takes stock of a life toward the end of its long graceful arc, finding her path through the words she has written and the people she has loved.

At once beautiful, biting, precise, poetic and propulsive, GETTING TO KNOW DEATH is her own reckoning with the meaning of a life, the forms of passion that guide it, and how the stories we hold can shape our memories and preserve our selves as we write our own endings.

Getting to Know Death: A Meditation
by Gail Godwin

  • Publication Date: June 11, 2024
  • Genres: Memoir, Nonfiction
  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
  • ISBN-10: 1639734449
  • ISBN-13: 9781639734443