Kerry Egan is a hospice chaplain ordained by Harvard Divinity School. A graduate of the Iowa Writers Workshop and the author of a memoir, Fumbling: A Journey of Love, Adventure and Renewal on the Camino de Santiago, she has published in many national print and online publications, including Parents, American Baby, Reader's Digest, and CNN.com, where her essays have been read over a million times. She and her family live in Columbia, SC.
"Funny, honest, and self-deprecating...On Living adds to the understanding of end-of-life issues in an important and accessible way...If there is one thing death teaches us, it's how to live." -New York Times Book Review
Illuminating, unflinching and ultimately inspiring, [On
Living] presents "the spiritual work of dying" as a profound
process with undeniable elements of beauty. A book to treasure."
-People Magazine This isn't a self-help book, but in its own way it
inspires and instructs. Ms. Egan, a hospice chaplain, has a
down-to-earth, never-preachy style." -The Wall Street Journal On
Living... is about what makes us human. -Houston Chronicle A
poetic and philosophical and brave and uplifting meditation on how
important it is to make peace and meaning of our lives while we
still have them." -Elizabeth Gilbert, bestselling author of Eat
Pray Love "Egan... works as a hospice chaplain, supporting the
spirits of those who are dying. In this book, she compassionately
describes and distills what she has learned in their service."
"Equal parts memoir and meditative text on the nature of life -- and the many faces of faith....this beautiful book will speak to parts of your heart that you didn't even realize were hurting. What's more: It might help heal them." --Refinery29, Best New Books to Read This Month "A unique gem of a book... Wise without being preachy, warm without being cloying, Kerry Egan offers a delightful, humorous, and ultimately joyful perspective on what it means to be alive." --Chicago Review of Books "Egan's evocative and eloquent book reminds us that we are defined by the stories we tell, and those stories often reveal how life can be "beautiful and crushing" at the same time." --BookPage
"Terrific...[Egan is] a great storyteller because she's a great story-listener...The stories from patients in this book are compelling. And it's through those stories that we get some helpful insight into the difficult, misunderstood but necessary work of chaplains in hospice settings. When it's time for me to have one, I hope there are more Kerry Egans in the world." -Faith Matters
"Lovely, perceptive, and absorbing...a gem and a blessing." -LifeZette "Beautiful." -Jewish Journal "It's the rare book that touches heart and soul. For me, Kerry Egan's remarkable memoir of her experiences as a hospice chaplain, On Living, is that rarity ... I wanted to copy inspiring and poignant quotes from every other page...This is no preachy book of cliches, no prayers for the dying -- just many reminders that time is short and that beauty, grace and loss exist in every life." -News Tribune "In Egan's narrative, hope takes many shapes... It's the kind of wisdom that might comfort someone experiencing a pain, suffering loss, or facing death. While belief systems may be filled with arguments and theories, Egan's perspective is more forgiving, softer, and grayer...By showing how she sits with death, Egan helps reveal what we might be afraid to face." -Christian Century "Good dose of humor...beautiful... raw and vulnerable." -Hannah Creager, Williamsburg Hospice
"This is one of the best books I have read all year: moving, inspiring, beautifully written...It is a book well worth exploring." -America Magazine
In her sophomore outing, Egan masters the art of imparting critical life advice without coming off as preachy--a difficult feat...Egan's empathetic tone is a comfort for both the healthy and the dying--whom, she opines, are not polar opposites...As the title suggests, this is not just a book about dying. It's one that will inspire readers to make the most of every day." --Publishers Weekly (starred) Powerful...in this quick read, Egan takes readers on an emotional journey through many unforgettable lives. --Booklist "[Egan's] anecdotes are often thought-provoking combinations of sublime humor and tragic pathos... A moving, heartfelt account of a hospice veteran." -Kirkus Reviews "A unique gem of a book... On Living is anything but mournful. In fact, it's one of the most hopeful and insightful books I've read in years. Wise without being preachy, warm without being cloying, Kerry Egan offers a delightful, humorous, and ultimately joyful perspective on what it means to be alive." --Abby Geni, author of The Lightkeepers
"I know from experience what a blessing hospice can be for patients and their families. Kerry Egan's insightful book is a blessing as well. A born storyteller, she allows us a glimpse into a little-known world, where ordinary people face death with wit, humor, sadness, and regret. Egan reveals that the job of a chaplain is mostly to listen to them as they work out how to set things right with those they love, and find meaning in their lives." --Kathleen Norris, author of The Cloister Walk, Amazing Grace, and Acedia and Me
"When I forget the importance of kindness, when I forget to listen, when I no longer recognize the comfort of a quiet presence, when no words will help, when I lose sight of what is most important, I will want On Living within arm's reach, always. I love this book." --Abigail Thomas, author of A Three Dog Life and What Comes Next and How to Like It "It's a brave thing to walk into the rooms of the dying with no props--to sit down, open your heart and your mind, and be present to whatever comes up. But that's exactly what chaplain Kerry Egan does, and in On Living, she reveals some of what she has learned. What does come up? Anger, love, regret, secrets, stories, and insights, well-told and well-felt. --Victoria Sweet, author of God's Hotel