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Irvin D. Yalom with Lori Gottlieb

March 8, 2021 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm PST

This event is online.

How can we understand life, joy and love during the moment when they culminate in death and grief?

Internationally acclaimed psychiatrist and author Irvin D. Yalom devoted his career to counseling those suffering from loss and anxiety. But never had he faced the need to counsel himself until his wife and lifelong partner, the late esteemed historian and feminist author Marilyn D. Yalom, was diagnosed with cancer. Together, they chose to write about their shared experience during her final months, creating an unparalleled gift that Kirkus calls “A profound love story with lessons for how to live and how to die.”

Their memoir A Matter of Death and Life provides insight into grief from a remarkable couple who spent a life of close devotion from their teenage years onward. It catalogues the most intimate and daunting challenges two loved ones can undergo while trying to care for one another: Marilyn, to die a good death, and Irv to live on without her. During a year wracked with complex grief, their shared story is a beautiful work of writing that offers much needed guidance.

Through alternating stories of their last months together and Irv’s first months alone, A Matter of Death and Life rings with a depth of support, solace, and meaning around the process of grief… and also offers a warm, resonant tribute to life well-lived.

In an interview with Lori Gottlieb, Dr. Irvin Yalom visits with Kepler’s Literary Foundation online on March 8th to share A Matter of Death and Life. These two warm, witty writers will discuss what is a grippingly poignant account of not only grief, but the experience of love that gives it meaning.


IRVIN D. YALOM, emeritus professor of psychiatry at Stanford University, is the author of internationally bestselling books including Love’s ExecutionerThe Gift of TherapyBecoming Myself, and When Nietzsche Wept. His impact in the field of psychiatry is profound, with one training text alone over 700,000 copies sold; but it is his lifelong passion for literature and fiction, paired with the deep human understanding of his psychiatric work, that makes Yalom’s writing distinctly beloved at Kepler’s.

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LORI GOTTLIEB is psychotherapist and author of the bestselling Kepler’s Favorite Maybe You Should Talk to Someone, now being adapted for television. In addition to clinical practice, she writes The Atlantic’s weekly “Dear Therapist” column and is the co-host of the eponymous iHeart Radio podcast produced by Katie Couric. A member of the Advisory Council for Bring Change and one of the most-watched TED presenters of 2020, Lori’s expertise has made her a sought-after guest on media like The Today ShowGood Morning AmericaCBS This MorningCNN, and NPR’s Fresh Air.

MARILYN YALOM (1932-2019) wrote many celebrated cultural histories and feminist works, including Blood SistersHistory of the WifeThe Birth of the Chess Queen and (together with her son) The American Resting Place. This year marks the release of her posthumously published Innocent Witness: Childhood Memories of World War II. A professor of French at Stanford University and senior scholar at the Clayman Institute for Gender Research, she received her PhD in comparative literature from Johns Hopkins and had a profound impact through both her academic contributions and teaching. Marilyn and Irv were married for sixty-five years.

** Please consider joining with a book purchase or donation to support Kepler’s Literary Foundation programs. **


March 8, 2021
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm PST
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Kepler’s Literary Foundation
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