Drawing on extensive clinical and epidemiological evidence, as well as personal experience, Thomas Joiner brings a comprehensive understanding to seemingly incomprehensible behavior. Among the many people who have considered, attempted, or died by suicide, he finds three factors that mark those most at risk of death: the feeling of being a burden on loved ones; the sense of isolation; and, chillingly, the learned ability to hurt oneself.
Joiner tests his theory against diverse facts taken from clinical anecdotes, history, literature, popular culture, anthropology, epidemiology, genetics, and neurobiology--facts about suicide rates among men and women; white and African-American men; anorexics, athletes, prostitutes, and physicians; members of cults, sports fans, and citizens of nations in crisis. The result is the most coherent and persuasive explanation ever given of why and how people overcome life's strongest instinct, self-preservation.
Joiner's is a work that makes sense of the bewildering array of statistics and stories surrounding suicidal behavior; at the same time, it offers insight, guidance, and essential information to clinicians, scientists, and health practitioners, and to anyone whose life has been affected by suicide. Dreams from My Father by Barack Obama. From All men live in the shadow of their fathers -- the more distant the father, the deeper the shadow. Barack Obama describes his confrontation with this shadow in his provocative autobiography, Dreams From My Father, and he also persuasively describes the phenomenon of belonging to two different worlds, and thus belonging to neither.
What would he have us learn? That people of mixed backgrounds must choose only one culture in which to make a spiritual home? That it is not possible to be both black and white, Old World and New? If this is indeed true, as Mr. Obama tells it, then the idea of America taking pride in itself as a nation derived of many different races seems strangely mocked.
America will always be part of the Old World and part of the New, part dream and part reality -- that truth is integral to the greatness and the possibility from which Mr. Obama has so richly profited. From the moment he was born, Andrew Bridge and his mother Hope shared a love so deep that it felt like nothing else mattered. Trapped in desperate poverty and confronted with unthinkable tragedies, all Andrew ever wanted was to be with his mom. But as her mental health steadily declined, and with no one else left to care for him, authorities arrived and tore Andrew from his screaming mother's arms.
In that moment, the life he knew came crashing down around him. He was only seven years old. Hope was institutionalized, and Andrew was placed in what would be his devastating reality for the next eleven years — foster care. After surviving one of our country's most notorious children's facilities, Andrew was thrust into a savagely loveless foster family that refused to accept him as one of their own. Deprived of the nurturing he needed, Andrew clung to academics and the kindness of teachers.
All the while, he refused to surrender the love he held for his mother in his heart. Andrew has dedicated his life's work to helping children living in poverty and in the foster care system. He defied the staggering odds set against him, and here in this heart wrenching, brutally honest, and inspirational memoir, he reveals who Hope's boy really is. When two divergent cultures collide, unbridgeable gaps of language, religion, social customs may remain between them.
This poignant account by Fadiman, editor of The American Scholar, of the clash between a Hmong family and the American medical community reveals that among the gaps yawns the attitude toward medicine and healing.
The story focuses on Lia Lee, whose family immigrated to Merced, Calif. At three months of age, Lia was diagnosed with what American doctors called epilepsy, and what her family called quag dab peg or, 'the spirit catches you and you fall down. Whereas the doctors prescribed Depakene and Valium to control her seizures, Lia's family believed that her soul was lost but could be found by sacrificing animals and hiring shamans to intervene.
While some of Lia's doctors attempted to understand the Hmong beliefs, many interpreted the cultural difference as ignorance on the part of Lia's parents. Fadiman shows how the American ideal of assimilation was challenged by a headstrong Hmong ethnicity.
She discloses the unilateralness of Western medicine, and divulges its potential failings. In Lia's case, the two cultures never melded and, after a massive seizure, she was declared brain dead. This book is a moving cautionary tale about the importance of practicing 'cross-cultural medicine,' and of acknowledging, without condemning, differences in medical attitudes of various cultures. Set in the American South in , the year of the Civil Rights Act and intensifying racial unrest, Sue Monk Kidd's The Secret Life of Bees is a powerful story of coming-of-age, of the ability of love to transform our lives, and the often unacknowledged longing for the universal feminine divine.
Addressing the wounds of loss, betrayal, and the scarcity of love, Kidd demonstrates the power of women coming together to heal those wounds, to mother each other and themselves, and to create a sanctuary of true family and home. Isolated on a South Carolina peach farm with a neglectful and harsh father, fourteen-year-old Lily Owens has spent much of her life longing for her mother, Deborah, who died amid mysterious circumstances when Lily was four years old.
To make matters worse, her father, T. Ray, tells Lily that she accidentally killed her mother. Lily is raised by Rosaleen, her proud and outspoken African-American nanny.
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When Rosaleen attempts to exercise her newly won right to vote, she is attacked by the three worst racists in town and is thrown into jail. Lily is determined to save Rosaleen and finally escape her own father as well. Seizing the moment, she springs Rosaleen from jail, and the two set out across South Carolina in search of a new life. Their destination is Tiburon, South Carolina—a town they know nothing about except that in a box of Lily's mother's belongings there is a cryptic picture of a black Virgin Mary with the words "Tiburon, South Carolina" written on the back.
There they are taken in by three black beekeeping sisters who worship the Black Madonna. It is here, surrounded by the strength of the Madonna, the hum of bees, and a circle of wise and colorful women, that Lily makes her passage to wholeness and a new life. Captured by the voice of this Southern adolescent, one becomes enveloped in the hot South Carolina summer and one of most tumultuous times the country has ever seen.
A story of mothers lost and found, love, conviction, and forgiveness, The Secret Life of Bees boldly explores life's wounds and reveals the deeper meaning of home and the redemptive simplicity of "choosing what matters. As told through Bobby's poignant journal entries and his mother's reminiscences, Prayers for Bobby is at once a moving personal story, a true profile in courage, and a call to arms to parents everywhere. Bobby Griffith was an all-American boy…. Faced with an irresolvable conflict—for both his family and his religion taught him that being gay was "wrong"—Bobby chose to take his own life.
Prayers for Bobby, nominated for a Lambda Literary Award, is the story of the emotional journey that led Bobby to this tragic conclusion. But it is also the story of Bobby's mother, a fearful churchgoer who first prayed that her son would be "healed," then anguished over his suicide, and ultimately transformed herself into a national crusader for gay and lesbian youth.
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HarperCollins Publishing. In this explosive and timely novel, T. Coraghessan Boyle explores an issue that is at the forefront of the political arena. He confronts the controversy over illegal immigration head-on, illuminating through a poignant, gripping story the people on both sides of the issue, the haves and the have-nots.
In Southern California's Topanga Canyon, two couples live in close proximity and yet are worlds apart. High atop a hill overlooking the canyon, nature writer Delaney Mossbacher and his wife, real estate agent Kyra Menaker-Mossbacher, reside in an exclusive, secluded housing development with their son, Jordan.
The Mossbachers are agnostic liberals with a passion for recycling and fitness. On the edge of starvation, they search desperately for work in the hope of moving into an apartment before their baby is born. They cling to their vision of the American dream, which, no matter how hard they try to achieve it, manages to elude their grasp at every turn.
The novel shifts back and forth between the two couples, giving voice to each of the four main characters as their lives become inextricably intertwined and their worlds collide. In scenes that are alternately comic, frightening, and satirical, but always all "too real," Boyle confronts not only immigration but social consciousness, environmental awareness, crime, and unemployment in a tale that raises the curtain on the dark side of the American dream. The United States and Immigration The debate over immigration continues to escalate across the nation, particularly in California, and this sampling of quotations and statistics from various newspapers.
History suggests that those who truly yearn to come to America and stay will find a way to do it. Time, November 21, "All Americans We are a nation of immigrants, but we are also a nation of laws.
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It is wrong and ultimately self-defeating for a nation of immigrants to permit the kind of abuse of our immigration laws we have seen in recent years, and we must do more to stop it. I believe we are a people who draw strength from our diversity and meet our challenges head on. I believe we want and deserve immigration laws that favor those who play by the rules. An additional , to , come to the country illegally. San Francisco Chronicle, December 5, Half of illegal immigrants do not cross the borders unlawfully--they enter legally and overstay their visas.
San Francisco Chronicle, March 18, readinggroupguides. In Harris's entertaining new work, the issues of sexual orientation that dominated his first two novels Invisible Life and its sequel, Just How I Am take a back seat to universal questions of justice, love and career. The melodrama here centers around three African Americans. Zurich Robinson, the starting quarterback for Chicago's new NFL team, shields his personal dilemmas behind an aloof manner that puzzles those who know him. Elsewhere in Chicago, Tamela Coleman, a frustrated corporate attorney considering opening her own office, has sworn off relationships with men until she meets police officer Caliph Taylor.
And in Manhattan, loneliness drives freelance journalist Sean Elliott to a series of unfulfilling sexual liaisons with other men. When Sean, a fan of Zurich's, is assigned to profile the quarterback, the two become friends. San Fernando Road, Burbank. Proceeds of sales go to scholarships and Poetry Salon programs. Art Share LA, E. Fourth St. Colorado Blvd.
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