Reflections on Living and Dying

Erik Olin Wright

Haymarket Books (Spring 2020)

Trade Paper • ISBN-13:9781642591583 • US $26.95 • 5.5 in x 8.5 in • 260 pgs.


Erik Olin Wright, one of the most important sociologists of his time, takes us along on his intimate and brave journey toward death, and asks the big questions about human mortality.

“Human life is a wild, extraordinary phenomenon: elements are brewed in the center of stars and exploding supernova, spewed across the universe; they eventually clumped into a minor planet around a modest star; then after some billions of years this “stardust” became complex molecules with self- replicating capacities that we call life. More billions of years pass and these self- replicating molecules join together into more complex forms, evolve into organisms which gain awareness and then conscious-ness, and finally, eventually, consciousness of their consciousness. Stardust turned into conscious living matter aware of its own existence. And with that comes consciousness of mortality. . . . That I, as a conscious being will cease to exist pales in significance to the fact that I exist at all. I don’t find that this robs my existence of meaning; it’s what makes infusing life with meaning possible.”


“Erik Olin Wright was an extraordinarily kind mentor to his students, including me. But what stood out as he faced the end of his life was his courage and insight as he turned his analytical mind to himself and his own relationship to dying. The result is a deeply life- affirming take on death.”

Elizabeth Wrigley- Field, University of Minnesota


Erik Olin Wright (1947–2019) was Vilas Distinguished Professor of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin. He authored many books.


Please contact subagents for the following languages and territories:

Language/Territory Subagent
China, Taiwan, Indonesia, Malaysia, and VietnamBig Apple Agency
English outside North AmericaDavid Grossman Literary Agency
FrenchDeborah Druba Agency
GermanPaul & Peter Fritz AG Literatur Agentur
GreekRead n' Right Agency
HebrewThe Deborah Harris Agency
ItalianThe Nabu International Literary Agency
JapaneseThe English Agency (Japan) Ltd
KoreanBC Agency, or Korea Copyright Center
PortugueseRIFF Agency
Russia/Baltics/Eastern EuropePrava I Prevodi
Spanish in Latin AmericaInternational Editors' Co., S.A.
Spanish in SpainInternational Editors' Co., S.A.
TurkishAnatolialit Agency

For all other languages/territories, please contact Roam Agency.