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death

Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, the Pulitzer Prize-winning authors of the acclaimed, best-selling "Half the Sky" now issue a plea, deeply personal and told through the lives of real Americans, to address the crisis in working-class America, while focusing on solutions to mend a half century of governmental failure.

Their new book is "Tightrope: Americans Reaching for Hope."

Renowned radio host Diane Rehm joins us this week to discuss her new book, “When My Time Comes,” which addresses the urgent, hotly contested cause of the Right-to-Die movement, of which she is one of the most inspiring champions.

Michael Korda is the best-selling author of “Hero,” “Clouds of Glory,” and “Charmed Lives” and is the former editor-in-chief of Simon and Schuster.

In his new memoir, “Passing,” he tells the story of his beloved wife’s brain cancer diagnosis and death. The heartfelt and open prose shares the details of Michael and Margaret’s journey to the end of her life. 

Jeff Abraham is a public relations executive who's regarded as one of Hollywood's top comedy historians and go-to pop culture experts. He joins us to talk about his book "The Show Won't Go On: The Most Shocking, Bizarre, and Historic Deaths of Performers Onstage."

The book is co-authored by award-winning television and film producer, director, writer, and journalist Burt Kearns.

Most of us prefer to talk about anything other than death or, at best, talk about it euphemistically. While death is inevitable, only 10-20% of us die without warning and so most of us, if we choose, can prepare for it.

"A Beginner's Guide to the End: Practical Advice for Living Life and Facing Death" was written to help readers feel more in control of an experience that so often seems anything but controllable. B.J. Miller, MD and Shoshana Berger join us.

Mugshots of Jesse James Breault and Ashley Nicole Bell
Warren County Sheriff's Office

Two people have been charged in connection with the death of a Queensbury man.

Nathan Englander once again tackles the complexities of contemporary Jewish life in his new novel, "kaddish.com."

When an atheist's Orthodox father dies, he is called upon by his mother and sisters to perform the prayer for the dead - every day for 11 months. Reluctant, he hires someone from the title website to recite the Kaddish for him.

photo of Nora Burns performing "David's Friend"
Eric McNatt (the projected image is by Patrick McMullan)

On Saturday, April 27 Hudson Hall in Hudson, New York will present Nora Burns in a performance of her one-woman show "David's Friend," written and performed by Nora Burns with direction by Adrienne Truscott, dramaturgy by Lucy Sexton, and visual collaboration by Len Whitney, and featuring Billy Hough.

The show is about a crazy friendship in 1980s New York City. The one-woman show is a comic odyssey about cruising, disco, drag queens, strippers, sex, love, loss, and AIDS, told with music, videos, costumes, characters, tall tales and torrid truths.

The new book, "The Art of Dying Well: A Practical Guide to a Good End of Life," is about living as well as possible for as long as possible and adapting successfully to change. Journalist and prominent end-of-life speaker Katy Butler shows how to thrive in later life, how to get the best from our health system, and how to make your own “good death” more likely.

The book is a handbook of step by step preparations; practical, communal, physical, and sometimes spiritual; to help us make the most of our remaining time, be it decades, years, or months.

As the American born daughter of immigrants, Dr. Sunita Puri knew from a young age that the gulf between her parents' experiences and her own was impossible to bridge, save for two elements: medicine and spirituality.

And it was that tension that eventually drew Puri, a passionate but unsatisfied medical student, to palliative medicine: a new specialty attempting to translate the border between medical intervention and quality-of-life care.

Puri's new book, "That Good Night," is a meditation on impermanence and the role of medicine in helping us to live and die well. Sunita Puri is an assistant professor of clinical medicine at the University of Southern California, and medical director of palliative medicine at the Keck Hospital and Norris Cancer Center.

Mining the dual losses of both her young marriage and her beloved mother, debut author Sarah McColl confronts her identity as a woman, walking lightly in the footsteps of the woman who came before her and clinging fast to the joy she left behind. Her new book is: “Joy Enough: A Memoir.”

Kevin Toolis is a writer and BAFTA-winning filmmaker. The author of a celebrated chronicle of Ireland's Troubles, "Rebel Hearts: Journeys within the IRA's Soul," he has written for the New York Times Magazine and The Guardian and reported on conflicts around the world. His family has lived in the same village on an island off the coast of County Mayo for the last two hundred years.

In his new book, "My Father's Wake," he describes his own father's wake and explores the wider history and significance of this ancient and eternal Irish ritual.

If you knew the date of your death, how would you live your life? It is the question at the center of Chloe Benjamin’s new novel, “The Immortalists.”

Four siblings find out and keep the dates secret from one another, but their prophecies inform their next five decades.

George Saunders is the author of eight books, including the story collections “Pastoralia” and “Tenth of December,” which was a finalist for the National Book Award. His first novel, “Lincoln in the Bardo,” was released last year and won the Man Book Prize.

The book visits the cemetery where President Abraham and First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln’s son, Willie, has just been entombed. The other characters are the less-recently dead who encourage the boy to cross over. “Lincoln in the Bardo” is an astonishing feat of imagination and a bold step forward from one of the most important and influential writers of his generation. 

What does hope look like? How do we find and hold onto it in the midst of personal turmoil, communal suffering, global chaos and the everyday challenges of being alive in this world?

Best-selling author Anne Lamott looks to answer these questions and more in her new book, "Almost Everything: Notes on Hope."

Alan Cleaver/Flickr

Police believe two men found in a Westchester County reservoir Tuesday morning died of drowning and hypothermia after their boat capsized.

To be alive is to be in perpetual metamorphosis: growing, healing, learning, aging. In "Shapeshifters," physician and writer Gavin Francis considers the inevitable changes all of our bodies undergo such as birth, puberty, and death, but also laughter, sleeping, and healing; and those that only some of our bodies will like getting a tattoo, experiencing psychosis, suffering anorexia, being pregnant, or undergoing a gender transition.

Gavin Francis is a physician and the award-winning author of four books, including "Adventures in Human Being," "Empire Antarctica;" and "True North."

Tommy Orange and book cover for "There There"
Author Photo - Elena Seibert

Tommy Orange’s powerful and urgent Native American voice has exploded onto the landscape of contemporary fiction. His debut novel, “There There,” interweaves the experiences of twelve people who gather in Oakland for a pow wow. It is a multigenerational story about violence, recovery, hope, and loss.

Ram Dass and Mirabai Bush began their friendship more than four decades ago at the foot of their guru. He transmitted to them a simple philosophy: love everyone, tell the truth, and give up attachment to material things.

After impacting millions of people through the years with these teachings, they have reunited once more with the new book: "Walking Each Other Home" to enlighten and engage readers on the spiritual opportunities within the dying process.

Mirabai Bush teaches practices and develops programs through the application of contemplative principles and values to organizational life. She is a co-founder of the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society.

National Book Award finalist Elliot Ackerman’s new novel, “Waiting for Eden,” tells the devastating story of a husband and wife who cannot communicate with one another, two friends who face the sheer unknowability of the divide between life and death, and is a portrayal of a mind that no longer has mastery over the body it serves.

Sigrid Nunez’s novel, “The Friend,” is a moving story of love, friendship, grief, healing, and the magical bond between a woman and her dog. The book won this year's National Book Award for fiction.

Nunez’s previous novels include “Salvation City,” “The Last of Her Kind” and “A Feather on the Breath of God.”

On a summer day in New York Jonathan Santlofer discovers his wife, Joy, gasping for breath on their living room couch. After a frenzied 911 call, an ambulance race across Manhattan, and hours pacing in a hospital waiting room, a doctor finally delivers the fateful news.

Consumed by grief, Jonathan desperately tries to pursue life as he always had--writing, social engagements, and working on his art--but finds it nearly impossible to admit his deep feelings of loss to anyone, not even his to beloved daughter, Doria, or to himself.

Jonathan Santlofer is a writer and artist. His debut novel, "The Death Artist," was an international bestseller, translated into seventeen languages, and is currently in development for screen adaptation. His fourth novel, "Anatomy of Fear," won the Nero Award for best novel of 2009. His short stories have appeared in numerous anthologies. He is also the creator and editor of several anthologies including "It Occurs to Me That I Am America," a collection of original stories and art. His paintings and drawings are included in many public and private collections.

Jonathan will be a featured speaker at the Albany Book Festival on Saturday, September 29th @ 1-1:15. His talk is titled “How We Grieve.” And then on Sunday, September 30, Yaddo Presents Jonathan Santlofer at the Northshire Bookstore in Saratoga Springs at 5 p.m.

News10 Anchorman, John Gray, is an Emmy Award winning journalist and writer. When John’s puppy, Samuel, died unexpectedly at just six months old it brought a profound sadness to their home and a sense that this was just not fair. For the first time John understood how a child must feel when they lose a pet of any age, asking themselves, “Why?”

Hoping to turn his pain into something positive, John put pen to paper and wrote a story to help any child who has lost a pet. His new book, "God Needed a Puppy" guides children through the grieving process by using friendly animals from the forest to explain the reasons why a beloved pet sometimes has to leave us.

Rebecca Soffer
Elaina Mortali

When Rebecca Soffer was in her early 30s she lost both of her parents - just a few years apart. While navigating the pain of loss and logistics that accompany death, she kept thinking that if everyone dies -- and everyone does -- why is noone alive talking about how hard it is to lose someone? She partnered with Gabrielle Birkner to create the website Modern Loss and start that taboo conversation.

The site features personal essays about the aftermath of loss that vary widely and show that: there is no right way to to grieve; a lot will come up that one couldn’t expect, both emotionally and practically; and that the sorrow doesn’t disappear just because a year or two passes.

Earlier this year, Harper Wave published Soffer and Birkner’s book which extends the mission of spurring the conversation and this Thursday at 6 p.m. The Mount in Lenox, Massachusetts presents “An evening of Modern Loss storytelling with Rebecca Soffer.”

The event will feature Joey Chernila, Jane Larkworthy, Courtney Maum, Emily Rapp Black, and Hannah Van Sickle.

Samuel Harrington, MD, an honors graduate of Harvard College and the University of Wisconsin Medical School, concentrated his clinical practice at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, DC. There he served as a medical staff leader, a trustee, and as Sibley's representative to the Johns Hopkins Quality and Safety Board Committee. This work and his service on the board of trustees of a nonprofit hospice brought Dr. Harrington into the discussion of end-of-life medical care.

Most people say they would like to die quietly at home. But overly aggressive medical advice, coupled with an unrealistic sense of invincibility or overconfidence in our health-care system, results in the majority of elderly patients misguidedly dying in institutions. Many undergo painful procedures instead of having the better and more peaceful death they deserve.

Dr. Harrington's new book "At Peace: Choosing a Good Death After a Long Life" outlines specific active and passive steps that older patients and their health-care proxies can take to ensure loved ones live their last days comfortably at home and/or in hospice when further aggressive care is inappropriate.

WikiMedia Commons

Gil Santos, the New England Patriots' longtime radio voice, died Thursday on his 80th birthday and 57th wedding anniversary.

Best-Selling author Barbara Ehrenreich, after her own battle with cancer, is now against the preventative care that is supposed to prolong life and guarantee health. It may sound suicidal, but Ehrenreich claims most of the medical tests she is urged to take fall short of the “evidence based” standard she requires to go to the hospital and undergo unpleasant and intrusive procedures.

In her new book, "Natural Causes: An Epidemic Of Wellness, The Certainty Of Dying, And Our Illusion Of Control," Barbara Ehrenreich tackles the politics of women’s health care, watching average Americans become fierce advocates for pointless diets, unnecessary procedures and checkups, and an unhealthy amount of exercise without the full knowledge of how flimsy the science behind those practices really is. Is control over our bodies even possible?

The feminist icon & author of "Nickel and Dimed" holds a degree in cellular immunology and uses it to great effect as she topples the institutions & customs that guide our attempts at living long, healthy lives.

The new book, “Modern Loss: Candid Conversation about Grief. Beginners Welcome,” is an examination into navigating grief and resilience in the age of social media, offering comfort and community for coping with the mess of loss through candid original essays from a variety of voices.

At a time when we mourn public figures and national tragedies with hashtags, where intimate posts about loss go viral and we receive automated birthday reminders for dead friends, it’s clear we are navigating new terrain without a road map.

Enter Rebecca Soffer and Gabrielle Birkner. Each having lost parents as young adults, they co-founded Modern Loss, responding to a need to change the dialogue around the messy experience of grief. They look to offer the insights of the Modern Loss community to help us cry, laugh, grieve, identify, and empathize.

Through his roles as a "Daily Show" Correspondent, Deranged Millionaire, the PC to Justin Long’s Mac, and his own bestselling books, the real John Hodgman has always remained hidden: a mystery wrapped beneath his signature dry, absurdist wit (and a moustache or beard, depending on the year).

But now -- for the first time -- he turns to the truth, exposing his real-life roles as a father, husband, and hater of fudge. He’s the first to admit that his path to success has been a strange one, and he’s the best person to explain why. 

His new book: "Vacationland: True Stories from Painful Beaches," follows his journeys as a very citified only child nerd, navigating wildernesses where he does not belong. 

George Saunders is considered one of the great masters of the short-story. He’s now written his first novel, Lincoln in the Bardo – a novel that comes from the real-life death of Willie Lincoln, the 11 year-old son of Abe and Mary Lincoln in 1862. 

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