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The Lost Art of Dying: Reviving Forgotten Wisdom Hardcover – Illustrated, July 7, 2020

4.6 out of 5 stars 33 ratings

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Editorial Reviews


"Kudos to Dugdale’s The Lost Art of Dying for being honest, refreshing, and useful. As a physician who has experienced many deaths, she helps us think about the meaning of our lives and about how to have a good death. I recommend this book to all who are mortal."  (Mary Pipher, author of Women Rowing North)

“In this profound and compassionate book about death and its nearness, Dugdale demystifies one of the essential mysteries of our time.” (Siddhartha Mukherjee, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Emperor of All Maladies and The Gene)

“Like Atul Gawande and Paul Kalanithi, Dugdale writes fluently about dying from clinical experience. What sets her book apart is that she writes wise words everyone needs to hear as they live. When I lay dying, I hope I will have a doctor like Dr. Dugdale at the bedside.” (Abraham Nussbaum, MD, author of The Finest Traditions of My Calling)

“I’m adding this book about dying to my collection of treasured guides to living well. Filling me with illuminating, compelling, and consoling hope, this book, more than any other I have read, reveals how to rediscover the lost art of dying. Read it. Then read it again and again.” (Raymond Barfield, MD, PhD, professor of pediatrics and Christian philosophy, Duke University)

"One of the most avoided questions in life is also one of the most important: what is it like to die?  It's a question we will all encounter, no matter what our beliefs about the afterlife.  And you will find no more compassionate and knowledgeable guide than Dr. Dugdale, who has accompanied many people on this journey. Her new book is a great gift to all of us who will die or face death, which is to say, all of us." (James Martin, SJ, author of The Jesuit Guide and Jesus: A Pilgrimage)

"This illuminating and thought-provoking book will convince many readers to reexamine their assumptions about death and dying."  (Publisher's Weekly (starred review))

“Want a better life? Then think about your death, starting with Lydia Dugdale’s The Lost Art of Dying. Dugdale shows that death should be courageously confronted. In so doing, we not only conquer our fear, but also understand the reason for our lives.” (Arthur C. Brooks, author of Love Your Enemies and professor at the Harvard Kennedy School)

“Dugdale examines how we have surrendered to the medical machine while surfacing ways we can regain control of key decisions over our quality of life and death. Everyone must read this book, whether you are a health-care professional, a public-policy official, or just hoping to reach an advanced age.” (Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, Senior Associate Dean, Yale School of Management)

“In this important new book, Dugdale asks why it is so difficult for patients and families to accept terminal diagnoses and for all of us to recognize our finitude. The solution, Dugdale proposes, is for us to learn about dying now, as part of our living. And she is right.” (Victoria Sweet, MD, PhD, author of God's Hotel and Slow Medicine)

“Who would have thought that a book on dying could be so enlivening? But that is precisely Dugdale’s point: if we do not face our deaths, they destroy us before they have happened.  A lucid, learned, humane, and utterly necessary book.” (Christian Wiman, author of My Bright Abyss)

About the Author

Lydia Dugdale MD, MAR, is associate professor of medicine and director of the Center for Clinical Medical Ethics at Columbia University. Prior to her 2019 move to Columbia, she was Associate Director of the Program for Biomedical Ethics and founding Co-Director of the Program for Medicine, Spirituality, and Religion at Yale School of Medicine. She is an internal medicine primary care doctor and medical ethicist. Her first bookDying in the Twenty-First Century (MIT Press, 2015), provides the theoretical grounding for this current book. She lives with her husband and daughters in New York City.

Product details

  • Item Weight : 12.8 ounces
  • Hardcover : 272 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 0062932632
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0062932631
  • Dimensions : 5.5 x 0.93 x 8.25 inches
  • Publisher : HarperOne; Illustrated edition (July 7, 2020)
  • Language: : English
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 33 ratings

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