Our Long Marvelous Dying

A Novel

Coming Soon


By Anna DeForest

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$36.00 CAD

Palliative-care physician and award-winning author Anna DeForest returns with an ode to life and to death, and the ways we care for ourselves and others on our long, marvelous walk toward the end.

In a pandemic-hushed city, a young doctor lives a life of insecure attachments: to a distant partner in an untended marriage, to a loaner child who stirs up hurts from the past, to houseplants wilting in a dark apartment on a once-vibrant street.

Through a yearlong fellowship caring for the dying and their families, death is impossible to ignore, and still more endings loom at every turn—endings made worse by wounded, avoidant doctors who don’t know how to let go. But after the sudden loss of a long-estranged father, our unnamed narrator’s work is thrown into painful relief, and we see, under threats large and small, how far we will go to hold on to our lives—no matter how little we live them.

Lyrical and with piercing insight, Our Long Marvelous Dying is a meditation on the twin drives of life and death—and how all of us reckon, day by day, with their ecstatic, inevitable collide.


  • “DeForest draws from [their] own experience as a palliative care doctor to write with acute perception about the thin membrane that separates life from death. Readers of When Breath Becomes Air will want to add this to their shelf.”
    Publishers Weekly
  • “An existential thriller—fast-paced, tender-hearted and brutally funny, this novel will haunt you long after you finish it. I would read DeForest on my deathbed.”
    Jenny Offill, author of Weather
  • Our Long Marvelous Dying solidifies Anna DeForest’s place as a cool and stylish prose master of striking and exquisite sentences that refuse to turn away from what others deny; a meditation on love and dying, grief and living, and the beautiful, shattering ways they are all entwined. I raced through this book with a heart-stricken propulsion, spellbound to the gutting last line. DeForest is a remarkable talent.”
    Chelsea Bieker, author of Godshot and Heartbroke
  • “A voice as intimate, as clarion, and as unbeholden as Anna DeForest’s—large-souled, sorrow-seasoned, scathingly truthful—comes along only every few generations. In the tensed, starkly precise sentences of Our Long Marvelous Dying, DeForest levels with us about loss and its aftershocks—the lifelong clouts of a bullying parent’s withheld love, the first meekest rumblings of alienation in a marriage, the hospitalized body’s relentless determination to be done with itself. Here is another triumph from a writer of seemingly limitless empathy, brilliance, and fortitude.”
    Garielle Lutz, author of The Complete Gary Lutz
  • Our Long Marvelous Dying is the type of book we need much more of right now. A book that truly looks at the present moment in a way that makes us better prepared to face it. This sophomore effort confirms my sense of Anna DeForest as one of America’s best new writers.”
    Matthew Salesses, author of The Sense of Wonder and Craft in the Real World
  • “Anna DeForest’s Our Long Marvelous Dying gives us a novelist fully in command of their instrument, staring searchingly at death without the dubious veils of euphemism or willed obliviousness. We see dying in the macro—a young doctor navigating a global death event exacerbated by myriad social and political pathologies—set against more quotidian deaths: passion crumbling within a relationship, personal agency eroding as a child is unexpectedly taken in. But what elevates Our Long Marvelous Dying into the realm of the rapturously readable is DeForest’s uncanny gift for lyric language. One can almost pick out voices—Patacara, Lorca, Durkheim, Kahlo—with whom Our Long Marvelous Dying speaks. A true artist brings an impossible thing into utter clarity; with this novel, DeForest enters with singular vision into a species-old conversation about what happens—to the dead and to the living—when we die.”
    Kaveh Akbar, New York Times bestselling author of Martyr!

On Sale
Jul 9, 2024
Page Count
224 pages

Anna DeForest

About the Author

Anna DeForest is also the author of the novel A History of Present Illness. Anna has an MFA from Brooklyn College and an MD from Columbia University and works as a palliative care physician at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City.

Learn more about this author