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Dec 29, 2013

[Note:  I've decided to make this episode available without subscription so that people can listen to it and share it as easily as possible. -BL]

Jennifer Michael Hecht is the guest. Her new book is called Stay: A History of Suicide and the Philosophies Against It. It is available now from Yale University Press.

Billy Collins says

“The title of this book is an imperative against the departure that is suicide, and its contents provide a learned, illuminating look at the history of what is perhaps the darkest secret in all of human behavior.”

And Newsweek says

"That it's not all a drag and you might as well get on with life's vagaries is the strikingly simple and convincing argument of Jennifer Michael Hecht's Stay: A History of Suicide and the Philosophies Against It. . . . While not insensitive to people who use suicide as a way to end the suffering of terminal illness, Hecht brands suicide an immoral act that robs society — and the self-killer — of a life that is certainly more valuable than what it may seem in that dark moment. It solves nothing, complicates everything. . . . Her argument is that it — whatever dark truth that pronoun signifies — almost always gets better."

Monologue topics: Ned Vizzini, suicide, grief.