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death for beginners

early reactions

the book

death for beginners 
is the story of chris's wife joan's

long and difficult battle with cancer
it's a harrowing
 & tragic love story
here are some things people have said about it: 


"chris gerolmo manages to record
his thoughts and feelings with heroic honesty
the result is not only transcendent, but surprisingly funny

you won't forget a single entry, I promise."

- steven soderbergh​​, director

"chris gerolmo's
death for beginners
is a heart-wrenching, brutally

honest and ultimately cathartic

book about losing his wife to cancer
there are lessons for all of us in his pain
the way he coped, and the desperate love
he showed for his wife and their childrenin the face of

an incurable disease. the book makes you stop and think
--and even occasionally laugh--about the things
we take

for granted in our lives and in the lives and departures

of our loved ones. from a to z, it's a soul-searching

chronicle of a death foretold that offers

hope, and sustenance, with a

remarkable absence

of empty platitudes
for all of us."

- bruce feirstein

contributing editor, vanity fair


-"this is a small book with a huge heart
the writing is raw, with a depth, intelligence and wit
that makes the reader forget the brutal sadness of its subject
tt's a beautiful love letter to a dead wife
a cathartic, brutal, honest, infuriating

love story."

- christopher kennedy lawford

author of new york times bestselling memoir

symptoms of withdrawal


"i loved death for beginners. i love it for its
beauty and horror and power and wisdom
there is nothing else quite like this book

in my humble opinion."

- bruce eric kaplan

a/k/a bek

new yorker artist

"brave, beautifully-wrought, and heart-breaking."

- alexandra styron​

author of all the finest girls &
the upcoming reading my father: a memoir


“it is a pleasure to recommend

death for beginners

for any family member struggling

to recover from the loss of a loved one

in writing this book, chris gerolmo has combined

wit, wisdom and creativity into an admixture

that makes a very serious subject manageable

palatable , and even enjoyable to read

i view this a rare and unique feat in dealing with death

and the resolution of loss and grief.”

- david wellisch

ph.d. professor-in-residence

chief psychologist, adult division

department of psychiatry

david geffen school of medicine

at ucla

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