That Good Night
Life and Medicine in the Eleventh Hour
As the American born daughter of immigrants, Dr. Sunita Puri knew from a young age that the gulf between her parents’ experiences and her own was impossible to bridge, save for two elements: medicine and spirituality. Between days spent waiting for her mother, an anesthesiologist, to exit the OR and evenings spent in conversation with her parents about their faith, Puri witnessed the tension between medicine’s impulse to preserve life at all costs and a spiritual embrace of life’s temporality. That tension eventually drew Puri, a passionate but unsatisfied medical student, to palliative medicine – a new specialty at work crossing the border between medical intervention and quality-of-life care.
Interweaving evocative stories of Puri’s family and the patients she cares for, That Good Night is a stunning meditation on impermanence and the role of medicine in helping us to live and die well, arming readers with information that will transform how we communicate with our doctors.
Helen Manders manages the translation rights for That Good Night
The audio rights are handled by Viking.
Translation Rights Sold
With exquisite prose, keen insight and endless intellectual curiosity, Puri shows us the ways that dying is woven into living and, as such, deserves not just acceptance but close attention, deep respect, even celebration. This is a lively and fascinating book that will be a crucial part of the expanding cultural conversation about how we think about death. Everyone alive should read it
Rich with piercing insights about life and death in modern medicine, Dr. Sunita Puri’s memoir braids together beautifully written narratives of her patients with her quest to understand her place in her family and her path as a doctor
That Good Night is a timely and important work: an insider's view of caring for the sickest patients and a moving exploration of life's impermanence. Sunita Puri's deft attention to language, both in her writing and in her work as a doctor, is a testament to the power of story, narrative, and context to help us make sense of life and its end.Lucy Kalanithi, MD and author of the New York Times Bestseller When Breath Becomes Air
Recognising the complementary paths of science and spirituality, [Puri draws upon] strength, support, and wisdom of her family's beliefs and values - honoring life and accepting death - to help her patients make 'eleventh hour' choices... This is a powerful memoir, which Puri narrates with honesty, poise, and empathy.Publishers Weekly
A profound meditation on a problem many of us will face; worthy of being mentioned in the same breath as Atul Gawande's Being Mortal.Kirkus
The face of a new generation of physicians, Dr. Sunita Puri's book reflects the art and craft of practicing medicine. There's no harder diagnosis to process than a fatal illness, and when it happens you need a doctor with the space, time and desire to extend empathy. Without that, it doesn't matter what we mandate, legislate, propose or discuss. With that, Dr. Puri implicitly suggests, we can find out what our patients need to make their dying - and also their living - easier, better, richer.Victoria Sweet, author of Slow Medicine and God’s Hotel
This thoughtful treatise on life, death, and medicine should make readers feel more grateful for every day they have because, as Puri and her colleagues come to realize, no one knows what’s coming or when to their loved ones or themselves.
Visceral and lyrical . . . In a high-tech world, [Puri’s] specialty is not cures, but questions—about pain, about fraught prospects, about what ‘miracle’ might really mean. Her tool is language, verbal and physical. Wielding carefully measured words, can she guide but not presume to dictate? Heeding the body’s signals, not just beeping monitors, can she distinguish between a fixable malady and impending death? Puri the doctor knows that masterful control isn’t the point. For Puri the writer, her prose proves that it is.