Goodbye to Clocks Ticking: How We Live While Dying (Hardcover)

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Goodbye to Clocks Ticking: How We Live While Dying By Joseph Monninger Cover Image
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Staff Reviews

“Call it a postcard from somewhere you will one day visit” is Monniger’s own apt description of this memoir of living with a terminal cancer diagnosis. Given a reprieve due to a new drug, with courage Monniger takes us through the range of emotions as he tries to understand what it means to live in his new reality.

- Dale

— From Goodbye to Clocks Ticking (Staff Pick)


An uplifting journey of truly seeing and appreciating what makes life worth living in the year following a terminal diagnosis

For fans of Ann Patchett’s These Precious Days and Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking

Goodbye to Clocks Ticking is an unforgettable book that tells the story of a singular year of challenges, insights, and peculiar gifts. It is also a sort of postcard from a place many of us will one day visit.

After thirty-two years of teaching, Joe Monninger, an avid outdoorsman in robust health, was looking forward to a long retirement with the love of his life in a cabin beside a New England estuary. Three days after his last class, however, he’s diagnosed with terminal lung cancer, even though he has not smoked for more than 30 years. It was May, and he might be dead by early fall.

Soon Joe learned, however, that he was a genetic match for treatment with a drug that could not cure his cancer, but could prolong his life. With this temporary reprieve, he sets out to live life to the fullest and to write about the year of grace that follows, from his cancer treatments to his innermost thoughts.

Goodbye to Clocks Ticking is a work of wisdom and insight. Joe Monninger’s aubade to the world that he knew and loved offers a page-turning, suspenseful story to relish and to celebrate, to share and to discuss, to ponder and to learn from.

"Full of heart and discovery." – Booklist, on Joseph Monninger's writing

About the Author

Joseph Monninger has published many novels for adults and young readers, three books of nonfiction, and dozens of articles for periodicals such as Sports Illustrated, American Heritage, Scientific American and the Boston Globe. An international bestseller, his work has been widely translated and published in more than forty countries. Goodbye to Clocks Ticking is his account of life after receiving a fatal lung cancer diagnosis three days into his retirement. He has lived beside the Baker River in New Hampshire for more than thirty years where he also worked as a college professor, fishing guide, and dog sled driver.

Praise For…

"A poignant, instructive account of reckoning with a terminal illness."
--Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“…elegant, meditative memoir…”
--Shelf Awareness (starred review)

"Someone in need of precisely this book will pick it up, read it, and their spirit will be lifted."
--Jonathan Carroll, author of Mr. Breakfast

"This book is so powerful that I had to stop a couple times to stop my eyes from filling. I especially love Monninger's thoughts on nature and all life and our own existence within it and not separate from it." 
--Bill Taddicken, Director of the Iain Nicolson Audubon Center at Rowe Sanctuary

Product Details
ISBN: 9781586423605
ISBN-10: 1586423606
Publisher: Steerforth
Publication Date: March 14th, 2023
Pages: 208
Language: English