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The Wheel of Life


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About the Author

Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, MD, [1926-2004] was a Swiss-born psychiatrist, humanitarian, and co-founder of the hospice movement around the world. She was also the author of the groundbreaking book On Death and Dying, which first discussed The Five Stages of Grief. Elisabeth authored twenty-four books in thirty-six languages and brought comfort to millions of people coping with their own deaths or the death of a loved one. Her greatest professional legacy includes teaching the practice of humane care for the dying and the importance of sharing unconditional love. Her work continues by the efforts of hundreds of organizations around the world, including The Elisabeth Kubler-Ross Foundation: EKRFoundation.org.


In 1969's On Death and Dying, psychiatrist Kübler-Ross was the first to sytematically ask dying patients what it was like to be terminally ill, and to identify what came to be known worldwide as "near-death experiences." Until then, Kübler-Ross contends, the medical establishment had not only ignored the subject of death, but had actively avoided it due to its implication of medical failure. Now, after ten books that empathetically tracked our culture's ways of dealing with sickness, death and spirituality, Kübler-Ross offers her own story in what she says will be her final book. The firstborn of triplet girls, she describes a childhood surrounded by mountains, wildflowers and a loving family in Switzerland. She shares stories of her marriage and motherhood, her deep desire to help others and to restore humanity to medicine, her explorations of out-of-body experiences and encounters with spirit guides, and the extreme resistance to her never-realized plan of caring for AIDS babies on her Virginia farm. Kübler-Ross seems to have lived several lifetimes in one, but a series of strokes has slowed her down to the point of declaring, "Death is a wonderful and positive experience, but the process of dying, when it is prolonged like mine, is a nightmare." She says the one question that everyone must answer at the end of life is, "What have you done to help?" Having faced universal questions of life and death, having offered comfort to countless others, Kübler-Ross now awaits‘to use her own metaphor‘her transformation from cocoon to butterfly. (June)

Kübler-Ross's landmark On Death and Dying (LJ 7/69) influenced much of today's work with the terminally ill. Now in her 70s and facing her own death, the renowned psychiatrist recounts here the story of a life spent not only endeavoring to understand dying but also "explaining that death does not exist." Against her father's wishes, the Swiss-born author went to medical school and studied psychiatry in New York after marrying an American physician. Drawn to end-of-life counseling, Kübler-Ross developed her techniques into professional workshops, the basis for her earliest and most influential books. Falling in with a channeler of dubious background, Kübler-Ross claims to have undergone out-of-body experiences, meetings with spirit guides, and visions of fairies. Unfortunately, this book is a puzzling combination of hastily sketched reminiscence and the worst of New Age ramblings, providing little insight into the author's character. A disappointment. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 2/15/97.]‘Karen McNally Bensing, Benjamin Rose Inst. Lib., Cleveland

Bill Williams The Hartford Courant This absorbing account of her life shows a strong-willed woman willing to challenge authority and convention at every turn. Part of the book's charm is that Kubler-Ross is a marvelous storyteller.
Richard Hoffman New Age Journal An inspiring account of exploration, conviction, and service....This book chronicles a life lived passionately, compassionately, and well.

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