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Love, Loss, and Meaning in Life: World-Renowned Therapist Irvin Yalom with Joyce Carol Oates

May 9, 2021 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm PDT


“Mourning is the price we pay for having the courage to love others,” opens the extraordinary memoir by renowned psychiatrist Irvin Yalom (Love’s Executioner) and his late wife, Marilyn Yalom, the esteemed feminist scholar and writer. Exploring universal questions of intimacy, love, and grief, A Matter of Death and Life recounts the final months of the couple’s 65-year marriage after Marilyn’s cancer diagnosis. The book is written in alternating sections until Marilyn’s death, after which Irv, the “therapists’ therapist,” revisits his decades’ worth of writings as a way to cope with his own grief.

There could be no better partner for this conversation than Joyce Carol Oates, one of the most honored authors in American letters, whose more than 100 books­­—fiction, memoir, essays, poetry and more­­—masterfully delve into love, loss, mortality, and other core human experiences. Her memoir A Widow’s Story (2011) depicts her own struggles after the loss of her husband of 47 years. Both of her latest books, the poetry collection American Melancholy and short story collection The (Other) You, explore how circumstances and choices indelibly shape how we live and find meaning.

We present this conversation on Mother’s Day, after a year that taught us all to cherish human connection more than ever. Today we pay tribute to the women we love, but also to the many people this year who have cared for us (since mothering comes in many forms).

If you’re a mom, a professional caretaker, or an essential worker—or if you’ve just now decided to tell your loved ones afresh how much they mean to you—we invite you to use the code CARE in checkout to get 50% off the ticket price for this event. Please also consider getting a ticket for a loved one and buying Irv’s and Joyce’s books—you’ll be glad you did!

Special opportunity

With a tax-deductible donation of $100 to the nonprofit Bay Area Book Festival, you can get a special invitation to a virtual afterparty with the author(s)! In an intimate, relaxed setting, you’ll have a chance to ask that crucial question there wasn’t enough time for in the live event Q&A; get a sense of what makes these original thinkers tick as people; or just let a writer whose work you love know, face to face, how much it’s meant to you.

Read more here


May 9, 2021
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm PDT
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Bay Area Book Festival
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