Synopses & Reviews
Written with the same graceful narrative voice that made his bestselling National Book Award finalist The Big House
such a success, George Howe Colt's November of the Soul
is a compassionate, compelling, thought-provoking, and exhaustive investigation into the subject of suicide. Drawing on hundreds of in-depth interviews and a fascinating survey of current knowledge, Colt provides moving case studies to offer insight into all aspects of suicide -- its cultural history, the latest biological and psychological research, the possibilities of prevention, the complexities of the right-to-die movement, and the effects on suicide's survivors.
Presented with deep compassion and humanity, November of the Soul is an invaluable contribution not only to our understanding of suicide but also of the human condition.
"Imagine a book about a forbidden subject at once so matter-of-fact and thorough that it could be the perfect catalog and as sure-footed and moving as a good novel. This is what George Howe Colt has given us."
-- Boston Globe
"Rigorous, wide-ranging, informed, and humane...Provides much sorely needed wisdom; it will not arrest the crisis, but it could save some lives."
-- Andrew Solomon, author of The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression
"An utterly fascinating, admirably well-written, and sad book...The literature on the subject -- and the survivors -- are greatly enriched by his evocative treatment of it."
-- The New York Times Book Review
About the Author
George Howe Colt is the bestselling author of The Big House, which was a National Book Award finalist and a New York Times notable book of the year, and November of the Soul: The Enigma of Suicide. He lives in Western Massachusetts with his wife, Anne Fadiman, and their two children.
Table of Contents
Preface to the First Edition
1 Adolescent Suicide
II The Slot Machine
IV Something in the Air
VI "Use the Enclosed Order Form to Act Immediately.
You Could Save a Life"
VII Beginning to Close the Door
I Primitive Roots: The Rock of the Forefathers
II The Classical World: "He Is at Liberty to Die
Who Does Not Wish to Live"
III Renaissance and Enlightenment:
"It Is His Case, It May Be Thine"
IV Science: Moral Medicine and Vital Statistics
V Faith, Hopelessness, and 5HIAA
3 The Range of Self-Destructive Behavior
I Winner and Loser
II Under the Shadow
III The Manner of Dying
IV The Numbers Game
V Backing into the Grave
IV Social Studies
V Life or Liberty
5 The Right to Die
I A Fate Worse Than Death
II "Your Good End in Life Is Our Concern!"
III "The Limits Are Obscure...and Every Errour Deadly"
IV A Model Hemlock Couple
I Merryl and Carl
II The Mark of Cain
III Merryl: The Torture Chamber
IV The O'er-Fraught Heart
V Merryl: The Jigsaw Puzzle
VI A Safe Place
VII Merryl: The Building Blocks
VIII A Place for What We Lose
IX Merryl and Carl