"Wise and deeply moving." --Oliver Sacks
"Illuminating." --Janet Maslin, The New York Times
"Beautifully written . . . In his newest and best book, Gawande has provided us with a moving and clear-eyed look at aging and death in our society, and at the harms we do in turning it into a medical problem, rather than a human one." --The New York Review of Books
"Gawande's book is so impressive that one can believe that it may well [change the medical profession] . . . May it be widely read and inwardly digested." --Diana Athill, Financial Times (UK)
"Being Mortal, Atul Gawande's masterful exploration of aging, death, and the medical profession's mishandling of both, is his best and most personal book yet." --Boston Globe
"American medicine, Being Mortal reminds us, has prepared itself for life but not for death. This is Atul Gawande's most powerful--and moving--book." --Malcolm Gladwell
"Beautifully crafted . . . Being Mortal is a clear-eyed, informative exploration of what growing old means in the 21st century . . . a book I cannot recommend highly enough. This should be mandatory reading for every American. . . . it provides a useful roadmap of what we can and should be doing to make the last years of life meaningful." --Time.com
"Masterful . . . Essential . . . For more than a decade, Atul Gawande has explored the fault lines of medicine . . . combining his years of experience as a surgeon with his gift for fluid, seemingly effortless storytelling . . . In Being Mortal, he turns his attention to his most important subject yet." --Chicago Tribune
"Powerful." --New York Magazine
"Atul Gawande's wise and courageous book raises the questions that none of us wants to think about . . . Remarkable." --Peter Carey, The Sunday Times (UK)
"A deeply affecting, urgently important book--one not just about dying and the limits of medicine but about living to the last with autonomy, dignity, and joy." --Katherine Boo
"Dr. Gawande's book is not of the kind that some doctors write, reminding us how grim the fact of death can be. Rather, he shows how patients in the terminal phase of their illness can maintain important qualities of life." --Wall Street Journal
"Being Mortal left me tearful, angry, and unable to stop talking about it for a week. . . . A surgeon himself, Gawande is eloquent about the inadequacy of medical school in preparing doctors to confront the subject of death with their patients. . . . it is rare to read a book that sparks with so much hard thinking." --Nature
"Eloquent, moving." --The Economist
"Beautiful." --New Republic
"Gawande displays the precision of his surgical craft and the compassion of a humanist . . . in a narrative that often attains the force and beauty of a novel . . . Only a precious few books have the power to open our eyes while they move us to tears. Atul Gawande has produced such a work. One hopes it is the spark that ignites some revolutionary changes in a field of medicine that ultimately touches each of us." --Shelf Awareness
"A needed call to action, a cautionary tale of what can go wrong, and often does, when a society fails to engage in a sustained discussion about aging and dying." --San Francisco Chronicle
For most of human history, death was a common, ever-present possibility. It didn't matter whether you were five or fifty - every day was a roll of the dice. But now, as medical advances push the boundaries of survival further each year, we have become increasingly detached from the reality of being mortal. So here is a book about the modern experience of mortality - about what it's like to get old and die, how medicine has changed this and how it hasn't, where our ideas about death have gone wrong. With his trademark mix of perceptiveness and sensitivity, Atul Gawande outlines a story that crosses the globe, as he examines his experiences as a surgeon and those of his patients and family, and learns to accept the limits of what he can do.
Never before has aging been such an important topic. The systems that we have put in place to manage our mortality are manifestly failing; but, as Gawande reveals, it doesn't have to be this way. The ultimate goal, after all, is not a good death, but a good life - all the way to the very end.
Published in partnership with the Wellcome Collection.
Wellcome Collection is a free museum and library that aims to challenge how we think and feel about health. Inspired by the medical objects and curiosities collected by Henry Wellcome, it connects science, medicine, life and art. Wellcome Collection exhibitions, events and books explore a diverse range of subjects, including consciousness, forensic medicine, emotions, sexology, identity and death.
Wellcome Collection is part of Wellcome, a global charitable foundation that exists to improve health for everyone by helping great ideas to thrive, funding over 14,000 researchers and projects in more than 70 countries.