Irvin D. Yalom is an author whose bestselling trade books and novels tell compelling, dramatic, and illuminating stories with which readers can identify. At 74, Yalom has penned a book that is the climax of his lifework, focusing on the universal human issues of mortality and death. He suggests that what he calls the "awakening experience" can help us acknowledge, accept, and utilize our fear of death in a very positive manner. Such an awakening experience can be as simple as a dream, or quick as a sudden insight. It is often a loss, a trauma, or just plain aging that can prompt an awakening experience that is a turning point for a more meaningful life. He discusses how people can make lasting changes in their lives, rearrange their priorities, communicate more deeply with those they love, eliminate interpersonal fears of rejection, and increase a willingness to take risks for personal fulfillment and a life filled with love.