From Publishers Weekly
Veteran journalist Konigsberg offers a spot-on critique of Elisabeth Kübler-Ross's seminal theory--the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. This "staged" approach "prioritizes negative emotions over any positive ones that might occur, say, from a happy memory of the deceased." Konigsberg also looks at various scientific studies on how people cope with grief, noting, "On average, those who got help experienced no less distress nor recovered more quickly than those who didn't." She maintains that people cope with grief thanks largely to the human capacity for resilience, relying heavily on the work of psychologist George Bonanno, though Konigsberg acknowledges that this isn't the case for those who experience the intractable grief that Freud called "melancholia." Konigsberg makes few distinctions among different mourning situations and among various therapeutic approaches (e.g., individual versus group treatment; long- versus short-term counseling; cognitive-behavioral versus psychodynamic treatment). In general, she has researched her subject, writes clearly and engagingly, and uncovers a host of interesting facts. Despite a few conceptual flaws, this book is well worth reading. (Jan.)
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“This hopeful book upends old ideas and emphasizes resilience.”
“A liberating message: there’s no ‘right’ way to respond to a loss.”
“The Truth About Grief
challenges the received wisdom about how and why we grieve and, through healthy skepticism and admirable research, brings us to a more hopeful place.”
—Judith Warner, author of We've Got Issues
and Perfect Madness
“Konigsberg’s challenge to the orthodoxy surrounding death is both profound and urgent. This is one of those books that will change you forever, altering—for the better—your perspective on one of life’s most essential, inevitable tasks: grieving the loss of a loved one.”
—Peggy Orenstein, author of Cinderella Ate My Daughter
“A pithy review of our grief culture, its wobbly underpinnings and the frequently opportunistic industry that preys upon it.”
“Veteran journalist Konigsberg offers a spot-on critique of Elisabeth Kübler-Ross's seminal theory. . . . [Konigsberg] writes clearly and engagingly, and uncovers a host of interesting facts….this book is well worth reading.” —Publishers Weekly
"Eminently readable and intelligent."
—Claire Lambrecht, Salon