In the Midst of Life
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In the Midst of Life

A Hospice Volunteer's Story

Title Details

Pages: 188

Trim size: 5.500in x 8.500in

Formats

Paperback

Pub Date: 09/01/2007

ISBN: 9-781-6030-6020-2

List Price: $19.95

eBook

Pub Date: 09/01/2007

ISBN: 9-781-6030-6115-5

List Price: $19.95

Imprint

NewSouth Books

In the Midst of Life

A Hospice Volunteer's Story

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  • Description
  • Reviews
In the Midst of Life is a moving, evocatively described narrative of the patients and caregivers Charles Rose encountered as a hospice volunteer. It is also a perceptive account of his own journey into the world of the dying—a journey that in the end brings him, and us, more deeply and compassionately into the transitory world of our own lives.
Charles Rose’s memoir of his time spent as a hospice volunteer, In the Midst of Life, is a story of just that—life, and living, the reaching out of one person to another in a time of need. Rose’s memories of his time spent with patients and their caregivers is a unique view into the life of a hospice volunteer.

—Charlotte Miller, author of There is a River, Through a Glass, Darkly, and Behold, This Dreamer

Charles Rose's In the Midst of Life is stunning in its subtle juxtapositions of the sublime and the mundane, the ethereal and the earthly ... Throughout [his] work, Rose brings inanimate objects to life while watching life seep out of the living. Rose masterfully blends poetic prose with journalistic detail. He writes about death—the inevitable, the equalizer—but does so in a way that he demystifies its power to destroy and emphasizes instead its ability to forge the least likely connections among people, reminding us in the process to celebrate the magic surrounding even the most ordinary lives.

—Marian Carache, Southern Humanities Review

Charlie Rose's writing is like a still, deep pond. The surface is as smooth and simple as glass, but beneath is the deep water of perception, insight, and skill. To write of and in the moment as Charlie does—directly and with simplicity—paradoxically requires the greatest art. In the Midst of Life, so clearly the product of a writer's mind, testifies abundantly to Charlie Rose's art.

—Jay Lamar, First Draft

Where does a retired English professor go to find meaning in his later years? Mr. Rose chose to be a hospice volunteer, a journey that took him down the backroads of Lee County, Alabama, into the sometimes gritty home environments of hospice patients. Mr. Rose calls it the 'we of me'—that sense of connecting to some larger network of human existence. His memoir captures the patient's and caregiver's simple need to have someone to talk to, listen to, and just be with. Mr. Rose describes the awkward intimacy of reading to these patients, making small talk with their caregivers, while trying to respond to their need for 'companioning.' In the Midst of Life is a rare and detailed look into the day-to-day experience of hospice volunteering.

—Amanda Graves, social worker for Capital Hospice, formerly Hospice of Northern Virginia, and Hospice Care of DC

In The Midst of Life is a moving, evocatively described narrative of the patients and care-givers Charles Rose encountered as a Hospice volunteer. It is also a perceptive and moving account of his own journey into the world of the dying—a journey that in the end brings him, and us, more deeply and compassionately into the transitory world of our own lives.

—Judy Troy, author of From the Black Hills

Let me be perfectly honest regarding Charles Rose's memoir, In the Midst of Life: A Hospice Volunteer’s Story (an account of his two-year experience as a hospice volunteer) ... it is not the type of book I would ever in my wildest dreams want to read and most certainly would have avoided it to the millionth degree. It is everything I try to avoid in my life—death, funeral homes, the homebound, and dealing with all issues surrounding these subjects. However, it is exactly the book I needed to read, and I suspect, most people not only should read In the Midst of Life, but they absolutely need to.

—William Walsh, author of The Conscience of My Other Being, The Ordinary Life of a Sculptor, and Speak So I Shall Know Thee: Interviews with Southern Writers

About the Author/Editor

CHARLES ROSE taught English at Auburn University for thirty-four years. A native of Indiana, he holds degrees from Vanderbilt and the University of Florida and has published many short stories and articles. This is his first book. He lives in Auburn, Alabama. He is a past Hospice Volunteer of the Year, and in 2004 he was awarded an Alabama State Council on the Arts Fellowship for literary arts/fiction.