“This book is fearless and luminous and full of grace; it travels to the edge of death and finds life there. Its attention to the particulars of love - between the ones who will go and the ones they will leave - is something close to sublime.” - Leslie Jamison, author of The Empathy Exams
A nurse sleeps at the bedside of his dying patients; a wife deceives her husband by never telling him he has cancer; a bedridden man has to be hidden from his demented and amorous eighty-year-old wife. In her poignant and genre-busting debut, Susana Moreira Marques confronts us with our own mortality and inspires us to think about what is important.
Accompanying a palliative care team, Moreira Marques travels to Tras-os-Montes, a forgotten corner of northern Portugal, a rural area abandoned by the young. Crossing great distances where eagles circle over the roads, she visits villages where rural ways of life are disappearing. She listens to families facing death and gives us their stories in their words as well as through her own meditations.Brilliantly blending the immediacy of oral history with the sensibility of philosophical reportage, Moreira Marques’s book speaks about death in a fresh way.