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The Art of Conversation Through Serious Illness: Lessons for Caregivers
Richard P. McQuellon and Michael A. Cowan
144 pgs; $15.95

In The Art of Conversation, the authors consider how to best listen to and speak with one facing life-threatening illness, with lessons on being a primary conversation partner, becoming properly empathic and receiving empathy, maintaining everyday conversation, using platitudes appropriately, understanding healthy denial, and talking about dying. Offering bedside guidance usually only available to professionals and peppered with insightful anecdotes from the authors’ own experiences, this gentle, succinct book is appropriate for anyone going through this uniquely difficult yet universal life experience.

“What do you say to a dying person? The authors provide thoughtful insights into this journey, balancing the rewards and the challenges of being a conversational companion to those living in ‘mortal time.’ The combination of case studies, examples, psychological theory and poetry make this difficult material accessible and reflects the authors’ depth of knowledge and experience.” — Anne Kissel, PhD, director of regulatory and clinical affairs at the Carolinas Center for Hospice and End of Life Care