MODERN LOSS: Candid Conversation About Grief. Beginners Welcome

by Rebecca Soffer and Gabrielle Birkner

About the book

Hailed by Stephen Colbert and Mindy Kaling, this wise, irreverent collection of essays offers a roadmap for navigating grief in the modern age.

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Let’s face it: most of us can’t handle talking about death. We’re awkward and uncertain; we blurt out platitudes or say nothing at all; we send sympathy bouquets whittled out of fruit. We can all do better, and MODERN LOSS can help.

Rebecca Soffer and Gabrielle Birkner, along with more than forty contributors, including Lucy Kalanithi (widow of When Breath Becomes Air author Paul Kalanithi), stylist Stacy London, rocker Amanda Palmer, “Girls” writer and comedian Yassir Lester, CNN’s Brian Stelter, WNBA All-Star Chamique Holdsclaw and Kim Goldman (sister of Ron Goldman), share their provocative stories on themes including sex and intimacy after loss, technology, and the secrets we harbor and uncover.

The essays are accompanied by colorful illustrations by artist Peter Arkle and cartoons on topics such as navigating your work life while grieving and repurposing your loved one’s belongings. There’s also a glossary of terms that therapists probably don’t use but most of us should. (“Sadbooking,” anyone?)

About the authors

Rebecca Soffer

Rebecca Soffer is the cofounder and CEO of Modern Loss. She is a former producer for the Peabody Award-winning Colbert Report. Rebecca has spoken nationally on the themes of loss and resilience at venues including Chicago Ideas Week, HBO, and Kripalu. She is a Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism alumna and contributes regularly to books, magazines, and other media. Rebecca lives in New York City and the Berkshires with her husband and two children.

Gabrielle Birkner

Gabrielle Birkner is the cofounder and executive editor of Modern Loss. She is a graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism and writes regularly for national newspapers and magazines. She has served as managing editor at the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, director of digital media at the Forward, and features editor at the New York Sun. Gabrielle lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two children.

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