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When You're Falling, Dive: Lessons in the Art of Living Hardcover – June 24, 2008
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“Journalist and memoirist Matousek follows his 1996 memoir, Sex Death Enlightenment, with an exploration of viriditas, the phenomenon of drawing passion, beauty, and wisdom from unlikely sources. AIDS sets the stage for the author's inquiry into the resiliency some people display when faces with tragedy and trauma. Each chapter is an anecdote, or parable, about a person's survivoring.” ―Library Journal
“After receiving a diagnosis of HIV and, several years later, the equally upending news that after all, he would probably not die of it, Mark Matousek discovered something about riding a spiritual crisis. In this new guidebook to keeping the psyche intact while being spun on life's roulette wheel, he talks to survivors…as well as experts in brain neuroplasticity and psychological resilience. Through their stories, strategies emerge about how to not only regain equilibrium after a serious hardship but also manage the free floating ‘intuition of hidden yet imminent danger' that afflicts many of us even in the absence of major trauma.” ―O Magazine
“[An] absorbing compendium of anecdotes…Matousek shows an uncanny skill for merging spirituality, science and common sense into practical answers for surviving our own lives.” ―Publishers Weekly
“Filled with remarkable stories, illuminating insights and enduring lessons this gorgeously written book makes the impossible, transformational. Matousek has found a way to live by listening, by going to the darkest and most beautiful places, and gratefully he takes us with him.” ―Eve Ensler, author of The Vagina Monologues and Insecure at Last
“Reading Mark Matousek's When You're Falling, Dive is like discovering a great artist's lost sketchbook. It is full of little wonders that change the way you see things. Bringing his journalist's eye to some of today's most provocative thinkers, Matousek takes us inside their minds, offering fresh counsel for perennial, but newly urgent, questions.” ―Mark Epstein, M.D., author of Thoughts without a Thinker and Going to Pieces without Falling Apart
“When You're Falling, Dive reveals a secret known only to the few who have pushed through greatest adversity to find life's light on the other side. Matousek makes this wisdom available to us all. This will be his defining work both as a man and as a writer. A masterpiece…” ―Maria Housden, author of Hannah's Gift and Unraveled
“Like Dante's Inferno, Matousek's book shows us the tortures of hell--physical, psychological, political--and a host of real people who have inhabited that fiery pit and risen triumphantly from it. Matousek is a trustworthy guide, one who himself has struggled with angel-demons, one who offers a life-affirming gift to his readers. Voices and visions flutter from these pages to become part of the air we breathe, and part of us.” ―Sena Jeter Naslund, author of Ahab's Wife, Four Spirits, and Abundance
“Beautiful and true.” ―Rebecca Walker, author of Babylove
“Thank god (Jesus? Krisna? the Oversoul?) that someone has finally written a spiritual book with an edge. In this boisterous collection of true stories, Mark Matousek takes us from Himalayan peaks to a sit-down with Andy Warhol, from a homeless shelter to Joan Didion's Upper East Side apartment. Matousek knows everyone, tells all, and writes sentences that reverb like zen koans. This book is a blessed departure from other ‘survivor memoirs.' Matousek comes off as the most fascinating--and wise--cocktail-party raconteur you've ever met.” ―Pagan Kennedy, author of The First Man-Made Man and Black Livingstone
“Mark Matousek is an excellent guide to the wisdom we seek in times of crisis.” ―Dan Wakefield, author of Returning
About the Author
Mark Matousek is the author of two memoirs, The Boy He Left Behind and Sex Death Enlightenment. He is a contributing editor for O and Tricycle and writes
the "Big Idea" column for AARP. He has served as senior editor of Interview magazine and has written for the New Yorker, the New York Times magazine,
Details, Harper's Bazaar, the Utne Reader, Out, Yoga Journal, and others. He lives in New York City.
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Some might liken these to "profiles in courage," yet I suspect that the people profiled would not lay claim to the word "courage." They are people who simply embrace the desire to choose. They are women and men who, with faith and hope, "dive" into the mystery of life and love.
While reading this book I wondered if I could live, will I live, as those profiled have chosen to live--tapping into the best and bravest of who they are.
The book cheers, confuses, and astonishes. It reminds us that the arbitrary and the seemingly senseless do not have to define who we are and who we will become.
If I could have only ten books in my library, this would be would one of them.
Reading how others have done it helps you visualize a better outcome for you too.
Beautiful book that I plan to read over and over again.