In the Slender Margin by Eve Joseph

In the Slender Margin

A journey into the land of death and dying seen through the lens of art and the imaginationPart memoir, part meditation on death itself, In the Slender Margin is an exploration of death from an “insider’s” point of view. Using the threads of her brother’s early death and her twenty years of work at a hospice, Joseph utilizes history, religion, philosophy, literature, personal anecdote, mythology, poetry and pop culture to discern the unkn...

Details In the Slender Margin

TitleIn the Slender Margin
Release DateApr 22nd, 2014
PublisherHaperCollins Canada
GenreAutobiography, Memoir, Nonfiction, Medical, Death, Spirituality

Reviews In the Slender Margin

  • Magdelanye
    Art is something that lies in the slender margins between the real and the unreal. p192Ej has written artfully of what she knows in this tender meditation on death and dying. The early tragic death of her brother and her immersion in another culture gave her a particular edge and she is blunt and delicate in describing her professional experience as care aid.We are most deeply asleep at the switch...when we fancy we control any switches at all. p...
  • Vontel
    This is a book to savour, contemplate, re-read. Joseph lives on Vancouver Island, and worked for years as a counsellor for Victoria Hospice. This is a literate book, talking about both dying, and the impact of others' deaths on our lives. Her older brother was killed in a car accident when he was in his early 20's, and she much younger. This exploration is from one heart to another, informed by years of professional as well as personal experience...
  • Connie
    In the Slender Margin is a kind of free-association memoir about the author's experiences as a hospice worker and her thoughts on how the living and the dying experience death. Interspersed throughout the book are quotes from poets and artists, stories about how other cultures have viewed and dealt with death, and interviews with those who deal with the bodies of the dead. If she raises more questions than she answers, this is only to be expected...
  • Susan
    A tender, informative examination of death and dying. Eve Joseph brings to the topic the practical knowledge of her 20 years as a palliative social worker as well as the brilliant insight of a poet. Loved it.
  • Samantha
    so this is a book by a poet about her work with hospice patients and, therefore, death. I am a poet, I have been attracted to work with the dying or dead - though I haven't actually done any - and so I thought, yeah, cool, right up my alley. actually, I found it annoying. I guess I was expecting just a lot of cool stories and anecdotes, and there are some. there were some informative bits, like it takes 9 months (average) for an unembalmed body s...
  • Lexie
    A tender, mindful, cross-cultural compendium of stories, facts, and hints. A book that skirts the threshold that we all will cross. Eve Joseph worked in the hospice/palliative care field for over 20 years, lost her older brother to a car accident, and has been relentlessly curious about the "slender margin" we traverse when close to death. A gentle tone pervades the book, and it's full of wisdom:~ ... there is no silence as perfect as that of the...
  • Lucy
    one of the early (1985) workers in the Palliative Care field writes poetically & insightfully about death, dying, and ministering & administering to those who leave
  • Anne
    This book has been on my list since I read And the Birds Rained Down a few years ago, and it just finally got to the top of my list. This was a super interesting book. Eve Joseph compares how different cultures deal with death and dying, especially the Coast Salish, which was really unique. Another interesting technique that is used is etymology. Eve will review the etymology of a word relating to death and dying and by doing so makes the reader ...
  • Courtney Tait
    The amount of research that went into this book blew my mind. Joseph has taken the topic of death and explored it from what feels like every possible angle: “history, religion, philosophy, literature, personal anecdote, mythology, poetry and pop culture” (Amazon). Reflecting on her experiences as a hospice care worker and the death of her brother when she was a young girl throughout, she examines the question of what happens to us when we die...
  • Deborah Michel
    A lovely book! I kept talking about "this book I'm reading" to friends and family. I was moved by the stories - her own, as well as her family members and of those in hospice care taking their final journey. It's full of cultural, and historical references, and quite informative, but it reads like poetry. I wish my review for this book was as well written!
  • Kate
    This is an extraordinary book. A love letter to the dying and the people that support them. Poignant, beautiful, sad, hopeful.
  • Michael Johnston
    This book, written by a poet and long time hospice/palliative care worker, is a powerful exploration of the mysteries of life as well as death and dying. It is certainly not for everyone, but it is written beautifully and with a deep well of experience with those in the last stages of their lives. None of us knows what adventure lies before us at the end of our days, but this book acknowledges the reality that all of us must eventually come to th...
  • Travel Writing
    Eve Joseph did not merely sit down and bleed on the page, (Paul Gallico), she gently reached in and untucked her soul and laid it bare for the world to see.This book weaves together personal narrative, poetry, death, music, grief, hope, theory of attachment, bikers, birthing out of this life, beliefs, fear, joy, humor, and some of the most stunning prose about dying I have had the delight (weird, to be so delighted at the beauty of writings about...
  • Canadian Reader
    A meditation on death--including religious, mythological, anthropological, and some (just a few) medical musings about the endings of our human lives--Joseph's book put me in mind of poet Diane Ackerman's discursive nonfiction. The book has some of the strengths and (to my mind) suffers from some of the same (occasionally annoying) poetic excesses as Ackerman's. At times, the writing felt too pretty and precious to be genuine--drawing attention t...
  • Joanne Mcleod
    A very good book from a Canadian author looking at death from a personal perspective as well as her work as a Social Worker in Victoria Hospice. I love how she was able to articulate what draws people, including myself, into palliative and hospice work -dealing with death and dying on an almost daily basis: "For a long time, my involvement with hospice was not just work, it was a calling. Not a religious call, although one can't do the work witho...
  • Elizabeth
    Written by a Canadian hospice worker, this book is a meditation on life and death. Eve Joseph describes her experiences working with the dying with candor, humor, and sensitivity. Being related to native Americans (who the Canadians call First People), she gives some new insight into the ways in which people death with the dying and deceased. One insight I hadn't thought about is that when you work in hospice, you are with people at a critical mo...
  • Sharon
    Interesting book. I had read a book written by a hospice nurse that was more about the day to day happenings while working with hospice patients, so thought this would be similar, however it was almost like this book explored 3 different story topics regarding death and the history/ rituals from the past and from different countries mixed with some details about working with actual patients and being with them during their last days. It wasn't ba...
  • D
    I loved this book, but I can't be objective about it because she's telling "my" story. "I did not start this book thinking it would be therapeutic or that it would lead me to my [family]; I wrote, as Joan Didion says, to find out what I was thinking. Along the way, I was surprised." (p. 199) Read it as you would a poem.
  • Naomi
    Sharing stories about being with the dying, Eve Joseph explores meaning making and seeking understanding, coming to terms with the deaths of those we love, and different cultural expressions of doing so in her experiences. Much to think about and discuss in small groups and adult study sessions of death and dying issues.
  • Heather
    Even at 206 pages, this book cannot be taken lightly. It must be savored, contemplated, and gradually understood. Eve Joseph's journey through the slender margin between life and death has so many poignant moments. Part of what resonated with me the most was her ability to weave a variety of traditions, people, and religions together into a shared story. It was a beautiful, beautiful book.
  • Charity
    i've been on a good book streak. this wasn't anything like i thought it would be. the goodreads review is an excellent one, and i really can't write it better myself. memoir, narrative, poetic, researched, a mediation, truly beautiful read. this author is the strong/gentle i aspire to. i'd love to have a drink with her.
  • Jenny
    Just gorgeous. Such beautiful poetic prose guiding the reader so smoothly through a narrative that by all rights should be too complicated to hold up - it blends the personal and the professional, the individual and the universal; it stirs together myth, religion, spirituality, etymology, experience, observation, and poetry and comes out with this lyrical, readable book.
  • Dorothy Mahoney
    A well written book about current and past practices of handling death as the author reflects on herown brother's death during her childhood. Her twenty years working with Hospice provide anecdotes. She uses literary references to raise introspective questions on what we believe.
  • Deborah
    WowWonderfully written with compassion and also realism. I'm so glad I read this book. This book took me back to a time when I experienced some of the things of which the author wrote.
  • Marilyn Nettleton
    Thought provoking Thought provoking and gentle. Beautifully self reflective and generous of the author to share her intimacies and brilliance with us. Loved it.
  • Liz
    Loved it!
  • Sophia
  • Kate
  • Seth Wilpan
  • Julie
    3.5 *