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book cover of Dying Twice

Dying Twice

A Sister's Tale
A non fiction book by

34-year old John Dally flew home from New York to London in December 1993, only to be promptly admitted to hospital suffering from pneumonia. The disease, however, was only the first manifestation of something even more serious. John Dally had an AIDS-related illness. There have been a number of books in this genre, the Confession of Mortality memoir: John Diamond's C: Because Cowards Get Cancer Too and Ruth Picardie's Before I Say Goodbye are just two outstanding examples. Here is something slightly different, however. For Dying Twice is written not by John himself, but by his sister, Emma, who has previously published three novels. This gives the harrowing process of her brother's decline a powerful new perspective, because Emma can see all too well that her beloved brother, for all his charm and good looks, was also, "all his life, irresponsible and reckless and he left a mess behind him when he died." At school, "during games, all he wanted to do was smoke cigarettes in the bushes". In his flashy 20s he made, and spent, a great deal of money with his own courier business. He was "kind and generous, but he could also be shockingly selfish and thoughtless". He never had a formal education, rarely read a newspaper and never a book, and yet his sister remembers his "spontaneity of thought, full of curiosity and interesting observations about life". This is an honest book, as it needs to be. It is also moving and a fine memorial to an all-too-typical human being. --Christopher Hart


Used availability for Emma Dally's Dying Twice

Hardback Editions

February 2000 : USA Hardback

Title: Dying Twice: A Sister's Tale
Author(s): Emma Dally
ISBN: 0-316-85322-4 / 978-0-316-85322-4 (USA edition)
Publisher: Little, Brown
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA