A Troubled Guest by Nancy Mairs
Life and Death Stories

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"Nancy Mairs writes knowingly, even lovingly, about a subject most of us seek to avoid: death and its essential place in life. Her gripping meditations . . . both comfort and provoke with their spiritual strength and hard-won wisdom."
—O Magazine

"The ten essays in Nancy Mairs's A Troubled Guest . . . radiate the truest kinds of insight about life, illness, death, and above all, love."
— Elle Magazine

"Through these evocative and often affecting essays, Mairs charts a territory that defines the corporeal and the spiritual, delineating as much about how we live as how we die."
—Publishers Weekly

"In clear, unaffected prose that quickly establishes-along with her candor-an intimacy with the reader, Mairs begins by explaining her feelings toward her own impending death. . . . Not self-help by any stretch, but it will be of interest to anyone recently touched by death."
—Kirkus Reviews

On Ordinary Time:

"A conversion from good-girl spirituality to something much deeper and darker. . . . A remarkable accomplishment. . . . A relentlessly physical writer, as fiercely committed to her art as to her spiritual development."
—Kathleen Norris, The New York Times Book Review

On Carnal Acts:

"Eloquent and remarkable. . . . I closed Carnal Acts feeling a hundred times more prepared for whatever perils and joys lie ahead of me."
—Barbara Kingsolver

About Nancy Mairs

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Nancy Mairs is author of several acclaimed books, including Ordinary Time, Carnal Acts, Remembering the Bone House, and Plaintext.
Published October 12, 2001 by Beacon Press. 224 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Political & Social Sciences, Literature & Fiction, Self Help, Parenting & Relationships. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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In a similar vein, Mairs warns that death with dignity is possible, but only if death is contemplated in advance so that the end, particularly with respect to medical intervention, can be controlled.

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Publishers Weekly

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These meditations, as Mairs calls the essays, examine death's many facets, including the loss of beloved pets, her relationship with a prisoner on death row and how Americans distance themselves from grief.

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Spirituality & Practice

Although there is plenty of feeling in her accounts of her own suicide attempt, the death of her beloved dog, and the murder of her son, Mairs musters the most emotion in her response to the execution of a young man on death row who was her pen pal.

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