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Twelve Breaths a Minute: End of Life Essays (MEDICAL HUMANITIES SERIES) Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Series: MEDICAL HUMANITIES SERIES
  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Southern Methodist University Press; 1 edition (March 31, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0870745719
  • ISBN-13: 978-0870745713
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #850,846 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Lee Gutkind, founding editor of Creative Nonfiction, has written books about baseball, health care, travel, and technology. He teaches at Arizona State University. Francine Prose is the author of many bestselling books, including Blue Angel, a National Book Award finalist, and her latest nonfiction work, Anne Frank: The Book, The Life, The Afterlife.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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See all 6 customer reviews
Well, many of the essays did.
S. Miller
I read the entire book in just a few days-- and then my sister called.
M. Benson Smith
End of life topics are ones that all of us face...many times in life.
Nancy L. Jacobson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Nancy L. Jacobson on June 13, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Although the topics covered are not easy ones, they are presented in a compassionate, thought provoking way. End of life topics are ones that all of us face...many times in life. Worth the read.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By M. Benson Smith on February 13, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Two and a half years ago, while my 80-year old mother was in the hospital with another complication from her COPD, my sister called to tell me she thought I should come home; that something was "different" about this hospital stay. I walked into Mom's hospital room-- and despite her labored breathing and frail appearance, her words came out strong and clear. "I've had a great life!" She was released from the hospital the next day. Although her actions and words suggested that she was physically exhausted from fighting her illness and was at peace with "going home," and despite all the wonderful care and support we received from the hospice nurse and aide who helped my sister and I with our mom those last few days, my sister and I both had lingering questions and emotions that haunted us. I have spent the time since Mom's death devouring books and literature that might answer some of the questions and doubts that I had. This was the book I had prayed for.
I read the entire book in just a few days-- and then my sister called. Our 87-year old father had been severely depressed since the loss of our mom. Despite my sister's devotion to Dad's well-being and healthcare, nothing could pull Dad back up the slippery slope he'd fallen down after his bride of 58 years had gone. Dad had been in the hospital for pneumonia in November and never quite recovered. Despite a two week hospital stay filled with blood tests, xrays, CT scans, Doppler scans-- the medical community could never quite put their finger on "what was wrong." Our father passed away, surrounded by family, the beginning of this month. I am so grateful I read this book before our dad's illness and passing. I see now that he had been letting go for awhile; that he didn't want to die-- but that he didn't want to live without Mom.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By S. Miller on September 7, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a nurse, this book had special meaning for me. I have seen so many people die and while I don't remember their names, I do remember certain places, times, faces, situations. One of the essays in this book described me perfectly. Well, many of the essays did. Losing my parents, grandparents, working in hospital ER's, long term care, medical offices and having friends die from cancer are all covered very eloquently in this wonderful book. I usually guard my books very carefully but I have actually underscored pertinent phrases I want to share with my co-workers, family and friends. I tried to read this book straight through but I had to take a break of one day to let myself feel the sadness and today, after finishing the book, I will need a lifetime to absorp the wisdom and compassion. Palliative care is crucial and not many people understand what the phrase means. I use my Kindle a lot but I'm very glad this book was not available on Kindle. Having a hard copy to refer to will be so helpful.
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