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Grief happens to everyone. Universal and enveloping, grief cannot be ignored or denied.
This original new book by psychologist Dorothy P. Holinger uses humanistic and physiological approaches to describe grief’s impact on the bereaved. Taking examples from literature, music, poetry, paleoarchaeology, personal experience, memoirs, and patient narratives, Holinger describes what happens in the brain, the heart, and the body of the bereaved.
Readers will learn what grief is like after a loved one dies: how language and clarity of thought become elusive, why life feels empty, why grief surges and ebbs so persistently, and why the bereaved cry. Resting on a scientific foundation, this literary book shows the bereaved how to move through the grieving process and how understanding grief in deeper, more multidimensional ways can help quell this sorrow and allow life to be lived again with joy.
“Holinger teases out…intimate connections, and the psychology of the broken heart, fusing science and the humanities, in her introspective and poetic book.”
—Erin Blakemore, Washington Post
“The Anatomy of Grief sets out to examine the nexus of connections between the physiology and psychology of grief. . . . What’s central for Holinger is that turning feeling into words, and giving voice to buried emotions, acts to release tension. She is a passionate advocate for language as healer.”
—Clair Wills, New York Review of Books
“Holinger’s orchestration of different voices describing the vicissitudes of their anguish is often moving. . . . [She] respects the stinging particularity of the grieving process, but she also wants people to know they are not alone in their sadness.”
—Michael Roth, Los Angeles Review of Books
“The Anatomy of Grief is a gem. Dorothy Holinger approaches grief as a scientist and clinician, combined with personal experience, exploring the evolutionary history, anatomy, and physiology of grief. A real masterpiece.”
—Donald L. Schomer, MD, Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School, editor of Niedermeyer’s Electroencephalography, VIth and VIIth editions
“This is a unique and truly important book to anyone who wishes to understand, and learn how to cope with, grief. Combining research, clinical and personal experience, it presents a practical, relatable, and deeply human guide to the most difficult of times.”
— Chris Reid, Director of Product Development and Publishing, Science Magazine
“The Anatomy of Grief brings together Dorothy Holinger’s expertise in brain research and her clinical work with grieving patients. She speaks compellingly to the grief-stricken, urging them to resist society’s pressure to ‘get over it’ on some imposed timetable.”
—Barbara J. King, author of How Animals Grieve
“The Anatomy of Grief is a great read. All of us have been affected by grief and will find satisfaction in the new knowledge gained as well as enjoyment from Dorothy Holinger’s talent as a writer.”
—Michael K. Rees, MD, MPH, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
“Dorothy Holinger’s exploration of the contours of grief is wise, moving, thought-provoking, and, best of all, extraordinarily helpful. Beautifully written and humane, it is a balm for the bereaved.”
—Barry Bearak, Pulitzer Prize winner for International Reporting