A New York Times Bestseller

Finalist for the PEN West Prize for Literary Nonfiction

American Academy of Pain Medicine Presidential Commendation

“Rarely has a single book so intelligently illuminated a universal human experience. Melding science, literature, religion, memoir, and history, Melanie Thernstrom has created a masterpiece that reveals how we seek diverse dimensions of meaning to transcend suffering.”

– Jerome Groopman, M.D., Recanati Professor at Harvard Medical School and author of The Anatomy of Hope and How Doctors Think
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“better than In Cold Blood… more honest, more credible, more frightening, and more instructive”

– Harold Brodkey
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“once again
demonstrates a
great shattering gift”

– Mikal Gilmore, author of Shot in the Heart
read the essay from The New Yorker >