cover image Dying: A Memoir

Dying: A Memoir

Cory Taylor. Tin House, $19.95 (152p) ISBN 978-1-941040-70-6

Australian writer Taylor, who found herself out of treatment options for melanoma-related brain cancer, reflects on the end of her life in this unflinchingly honest memoir. Taylor, who died in 2016, shares her emotions of anger, sadness and worry, especially for her loved ones, as well as her acceptance of the inevitable. She looks back on her childhood and family and recalls the fractured relationships of her parents and siblings, the joy of motherhood, and the unlikely and fantastic life of a writer. Taylor, who wrote the book in just a few weeks, considered the emptiness a nonreligious person such as her might face, and came to terms with it, providing a blueprint for those struggling with the same questions. This slender volume brings a fresh point of view to end-of-life care, the concept of having a sense of control over the unknown, and the role of chance in life. This deep meditation is beautifully written and destined to be an important piece of the conversation surrounding death. Taylor’s last testament to life is a welcome departing gift from a thoughtful and inspired author. (Aug.)