How people who have suffered trauma find an upside when they've gone to the brink--and back again.
Do survivors of life's greatest trials possess a secret knowledge? Is there an art to survival--a map for crossing the wilderness--or daily life? Why do some people blossom through adversity while others stop growing? Drawing on twenty years' experience in this field, using stories, parable, and scientific data, acclaimed memoirist Mark Matousek gives the first-ever comprehensive look at this mysterious phenomenon of "viriditas," the power of drawing passion, beauty, and wisdom from the unlikeliest places. Matousek interviews hundreds of well-known survivors--including Joan Didion, Elie Wiesel, and Isabel Allende--and experts such as Jon Kabat-Zinn, Jonathan Kozol, and Sogyal Rimpoche. He includes extraordinary testimonials, from a Tibetan nun imprisoned by the Chinese at age eleven and the women of Calama, Chile, digging for their "disappeared," among countless others. Drawing insight and advice from these many heroic individuals, Matousek presents a chorus of wisdom for how to survive our own lives--the vicissitudes of being human--and prevail.