2017 Falmouth Reads Together
The Falmouth Reads Together Committee selected Being Mortal by Atul Gawande and Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? by New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast as the townwide reading selections for 2017. Both best-selling books are honest, humane explorations of how we approach the end of life for ourselves and our loved ones.
Neighborhood Falmouth, HopeHealth, the Death Café, and Cape Cod Healthcare’s Quality of Life Management Task Force partnered with Falmouth Reads Together to produce a wide range of free programs in early 2017.
2017 Event Schedule:
Follow the Falmouth Reads Together Facebook page to join the conversation.
About Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End Atul Gawande, a practicing surgeon, addresses his profession’s ultimate limitation, arguing that quality of life is the desired goal for patients and families. Gawande offers examples of freer, more socially fulfilling models for assisting the infirm and dependent elderly, and he explores the varieties of hospice care to demonstrate that a person’s last weeks or months may be rich and dignified. Full of eye-opening research and riveting storytelling, Being Mortal asserts that medicine can comfort and enhance our experience even to the end, providing not only a good life but also a good end.
About Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?: In her first memoir, Roz Chast brings her signature wit to the topic of aging parents. Spanning the last several years of their lives and told through four-color cartoons, family photos, and documents, and a narrative as rife with laughs as it is with tears, Chast’s memoir is both comfort and comic relief for anyone experiencing the life-altering loss of elderly parents.
Companion books for younger readers include Half a Chance by Cynthia Lord, I’ll Love You Forever by Robert Munsch, Hour of the Bees by Lindsay Eagar, and The Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z by Kate Messner.
Atul Gawande is a surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, a staff writer for The New Yorker, and a professor at Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health. He is also the Executive Director of Ariadne Labs and chairman of Lifebox, a nonprofit organization making surgery safer globally. He has written several books including Complications, Better, and The Checklist Manifesto. He has won the Lewis Thomas Prize for Writing about Science and two National Magazine Awards.
“What worried us was knowledge. While we knew how to sympathize, we weren’t at all certain we would know how to properly diagnose and treat. We paid our medical tuition to learn about the inner process of the body, the intricate mechanisms of its pathologies, and the vast trove of discoveries and technologies that have accumulated to stop them. We didn’t imagine we needed to think about much else. Yet within a few years, when I came to experience surgical training and practice, I encountered patients forced to confront the realities of decline and mortality, and it did not take long to realize how unready I was to help them.”
Roz Chast was born in Brooklyn, New York on November 26, 1954. She received a BFA in painting from Rhode Island School of Design in 1977. Her cartoons have appeared in The New Yorker, Scientific American, the Harvard Business Review, Redbook, and Mother Jones. She is the author of several books including The Party, After You Left: Collected Cartoons 1995-2003, What I Hate: From A to Z, Theories of Everything: Selected, Collected, and Health-Inspected Cartoons, 1978-2006. She has also illustrated several books, including The Alphabet from A to Y, with Bonus Letter, Z by Steve Martin.