Staring at the Sun: Overcoming the Terror of Death / Edition 1

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Overview

Praise for Staring at the Sun

"Irvin Yalom has written a brave, intelligent book on the last forbidden subject—death. I honor his courage and rare insight."
Erica Jong, author, Fear of Flying, Shylock's Daughter, Inventing Memory, and Sappho's Leap

"This thoughtful treatment of the ultimate fear has much to offer people of faith, especially Western Christians. Instead of fearing death, which gave birth to religion itself, we can confront it in a true act of faith and stop denying it through fantasies of immortality. This is a wise book by a wise man about the most taboo of all subjects. Read it, and fear not."
Robin Meyers, minister of Mayflower UCC Church of Oklahoma City, and author, Why the Christian Right Is Wrong

"Staring at the Sun is a thoughtful reinforcement of the stoicism that we all need in a time when babble and denial are all the rage."
Christopher Hitchens, author, God Is Not Great

"Staring at the Sun looks experientially and psychodynamically at our deepest fear and describes with uncommon eloquence and deep humanity how we may arrive at a form of peace. The book is witty and kind and unflinching, a generous meditation that should give comfort to the dying and to those they leave behind."
Andrew Solomon, author, The Noonday Demon, winner of the National Book Award

"One of America's finest therapists guides us through one of life's most challenging tasks in this profoundly helpful book. It will benefit anyone who reads it."
Rabbi Harold Kushner, author, When Bad Things Happen to Good People

Praise for Irvin Yalom

"Yalom is the Scheherazade of the couch, his work a marvelous exercise in storytelling."
Laura Miller, New York Times

"Irvin Yalom writes like an angel about the devils that besiege us."
Rollo May, author, Love and Will, The Meaning of Anxiety, Man's Search for Himself, and The Courage to Create

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
If death is indeed the last forbidden topic, it is one that haunts us as nothing else. In this ruminative book, Yalom, now in his mid-70s, grapples with the eternal conundrum of extinction with subtlety and grace, paying homage to writers, philosophers, and filmmakers by sprinkling their insights throughout his heartfelt meditation.
From the Publisher
"Philosophical it is, but never arid with theory. Its lively chapters are populated with patients whose raw angst Yalom refines into vignettes that are always enlightening and often quite moving." (Washington Post, February 24, 2008)

The philosopher Martin Heidegger once remarked that we can live intensely only if we stare death in the face every moment of our lives. Bestselling psychiatrist Yalom (Love's Executioner) attempts to put this principle into practice in a sometimes thoughtful, often repetitious book. Drawing on literature and film, as well as conversations with his patients, Yalom demonstrates how the fear of retirement, concerns about changing jobs or moving to another city, or changes in family status (such as the empty nest) are rooted in our deepest, most inescapable fear: of death. Yet, he says, this anxiety can prompt an awakening to life and help us realize our connections to others and our influence on those around us. Through such experiences we can transcend our sense of “finiteness and transiency” and live in the here and now. In a final chapter, Yalom offers instructions for therapists seeking to help their patients overcome death anxiety. Although in the 1980s Yalom, now 76, provided new insights into the human psyche with his innovative method of “existential psychotherapy,” this book recycles well-known philosophical insights, but Yalom's humane, calm voice may bring them to a new audience. (Feb.) (Publishers Weekly, November 5, 2007)

"Staring at the Sun is neither textbook nor mere self-help. Philosophical it is, but never arid with theory. Its lively chapters are populated with patients whose raw angst Yalom refines into vignettes that are always enlightening and often quite moving." — Washington Post

"So what to do about the dread of death? ... [Yalom's] key prescriptions are true connections with others, a feeling one has lived well and "rippling" - having positive impacts and memories live on in others after you die. These deceptively obvious goals are, obviously, not easily attained: What thinking and feeling person truly lives a life with no regrets? But they are inarguably worthwhile ones." — San Francisco Chronicle

Library Journal

Psychiatrist Yalom (emeritus, Stanford Univ. Sch. of Medicine) is noted for his stories (Love's Executioner), novels (When Nietzsche Wept), and writing on group and existential psychotherapy. As the only creatures with foreknowledge of death-what Yalom calls "the mother of all religions"-we humans must find or create meaning within the limits of our existence. Yalom uses examples from therapy sessions, dreams, his own encounters with death, and his exchanges and experiences with his mentors and teachers to engage the reader in a compelling conversation among equals. The chapter titles "The Power of Ideas," "The Awakening Experience," "Overcoming Death Terror Through Connection," and "Advice for Therapists" indicate his approach: viewing death's shadow can save us from despair without the consolation of religion. At 75, Yalom proves to be at the prime of life as a therapist, a writer, and a quotidian soul. For adults and mature teens and likely to be a classic in the area of serious self-help and psychology; an essential library purchase.
—E. James Lieberman

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780787996680
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 2/4/2008
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 364,598
  • Product dimensions: 5.77 (w) x 8.43 (h) x 1.04 (d)

Meet the Author

Irvin D. Yalom, M.D., is Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry at Stanford University School of Medicine. The author of the definitive textbooks The Theory and Practice of Psychotherapy and Existential Psychotherapy, Dr. Yalom also wrote the New York Times best seller Love's Executioner and the international best-selling novel When Nietzsche Wept.

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Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments.

Chapter 1. The Mortal Wound.

Chapter 2. Recognizing Death Anxiety.

Chapter 3. The Awakening Experience.

Chapter 4. The Power of Ideas.

Chapter 5. Overcoming Death Terror Through Connection.

Chapter 6. Death Awareness: A Memoir.

Chapter 7. Addressing Death Anxiety: Advice for Therapists.

Afterword.

Notes.

About the Author.

A Reader’s Guide to Staring at the Sun.

Index.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 9 of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 23, 2008

    Living in the moment

    This book helped me to live in the moment, and face the issue of my death. I bought a number of copies of this book to give to friends and relatives who have issues with death-don't we all?.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 10, 2013

    Allison

    Guys i think Faith is locked out.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2013

    Jazmine

    WAlkede in

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