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Number of Pages: 251
Publication Date: 2015
|Dimensions: 8 X 5.2 (inches)|
Stations of the Heart is a fathers heartbreaking and hopeful story about his beloved son, in which a young man teaches his family "a new way to die" with wit, candor, and grace.
As the book opens, Richard Lischers son, Adam, calls to tell his father, a professor of divinity at Duke University, that his cancer has returned. Adam is a charismatic young man with a promising law career, and that his wife is pregnant with their first child makes the diseases return all the more devastating. Despite the cruel course of the illness, Adams growing weakness evokes in him a remarkable spiritual strength. This is the story of one last summer, lived as honestly and faithfully as possible. Deeply moving and utterly lacking in sentimentality or self-pity, Stations of the Heart is an unforgettable book about life and death and the terrible blessing of saying good-bye.
RICHARD LISCHER has taught for more than thirty years at Duke Divinity School. His many books include the prize-winning The Preacher King: Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Word that Moved America and an earlier memoir, Open Secrets: A Memoir of Faith and Discovery. He and his wife live in Orange County, North Carolina.
"Stations of the Heart is a book after my own heart, profound, gorgeous, deeply spiritual and human, beautifully written, heartbreaking, but also, because of the writer's wisdom and spirit, triumphant." Anne Lamott
"Emotionally honest, raw and beautiful. I read the book over a single day and often with my heart pounding. The book is remarkable for its intimate narration of a father and son story but also for that simple yet impossible thingone human clearly seeing another." Darcey Steinke, author of Easter Everywhere and Sister Golden Hair
"Quite extraordinary. . . Lischers only son, Adam, died of rapidly metastasizing melanoma in 2005. He was 33. . . He said hed had a charmed life, and part of what is impressive about his questioning fathers chastely worded, clear-eyed account is that we come to appreciate that." Booklist
"A fond view of a father-son relationship and a loving tribute from a minister to a son who chose a different spiritual path in his life and to his death." Kirkus Reviews
"In this tender, searching, resigned memoir and tribute to [his son] Adam, Lischer relives the final three-month journey that he, his wife, and [Adams wife] traveled with Adam, recalling with grace and humor memories of Adam in his elementary school days, his college days, and his quest to change the world around as a modern-day Atticus Finch." Publishers Weekly
"Stations of the Heart deserves a place alongside these classics [John Gunthers inspirational Death Be Not Proud and Nicholas Wolterstorffs anguished Lament for a Son] for many reasons. It is elegant without excess, personal without self-absorption, profoundly emotional without sentimentality. . . . It looks beyond the one mans death to the death we all will face. It raises religious and philosophical questions without offering pat answers." Christian Century
"An inspirational memoir . . . Lischer is a fine writerself-aware, humorous and unstinting in describing the outrage of a son dying before his father." The Toronto Star
"By the storys close, you'll have laughed, prayed, shaken your fist at the sky, and wept along with the author and his family. Lyrical, wise, and full of warmth, Stations of the Heart accomplishes what only the best memoirs can: it bears witness to the unimaginable and gives voice to the inarticulable." David McGlynn, author of A Door in the Ocean
"As he grieved over the loss of his son, Richard Lischer gradually discovered that he had been given a new role as the interpreter of his own sons death. In this tender and loving book, Lischer does indeed become an interpreter, not only of his sons death but also of the fragile and beautiful relationships that make life both a peril and a gift for us all. Lischer is a faithful witness whose truthful and searing testimony evokes memory, provokes tears, and finally points powerfully toward hope." Thomas G. Long, author of What Shall We Say? Evil, Suffering, and the Crisis of Faith