San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

September 15th, 2009
Noted journalist Brody to speak at library

Jane Brody.


Jane Brody, the Personal Health columnist for the New York Times and principal author of more than a dozen books, will speak at the San Marcos Public Library, 625 East Hopkins Street, on Sept. 22 at 7 p.m.

Brody will be welcomed by San Marcos Mayor Susan Narvaiz. The event is part of Texas State’s annual Common Experience series. The theme for this year’s events is “The Whole Mind: Crossing Boundaries of Disciplines.”

The author will speak about her most recently published book, Jane Brody’s Guide to the Great Beyond: A Practical Primer to Help You and Your loved Ones Prepare Medically, Legally, and Emotionally for the End of Life.”

Brody, dubbed the nation’s “High Priestess of Health” by Time magazine, has written two classic best-sellers about nutrition and health, Jane Brody’s Nutrition Book and Jane Brody’s Good Food Book. The award-winning author also appeared in a 10 part series on PBS, “Good Health From Jane Brody’s Kitchen.” In her latest book, she takes on the subject of end-of-life preparation and care.

She writes, “We live in a society of death deniers, typified by the failure of most of us to prepare for the inevitable … The result can be undue anguish for ourselves in the course of our dying and those we leave behind, not only during our final days, but for weeks, months, even years thereafter.”

Brody was 17 years old when her mother died from ovarian cancer at 49. Twice, her mother tried to end her own life and suffering, once by slitting her wrists, once by drinking rubbing alcohol. As Brody reflects in her column for the New York Times, “Twice, to my 16-year-old thinking, her life was saved. But when I grew up, I asked myself, saved for what? More misery, an increasingly bleak future with no hope for recovery? If I were in a similar position, would I want to be rescued?”

Brody feels strongly that those who plan for their final days will reap benefits for themselves and their loved ones.

She quotes former first lady, Rosalynn Carter, as saying, “There are only four kinds of people in the world — those who have been caregivers, those who are currently caregivers, those who will be caregivers and those who will need caregivers.”

Brody will discuss advanced directives, living wills, hospice support, family care-givers, end-of-life palliative care and memorial services.

She will sign copies of The Great Beyond after her talk. Books for purchase will be available at the library.

For more information, call the San Marcos Public Library at (512) 393-8200 or email to

Brody’s visit is funded by a grant from VistaCare Hospice Foundation and supported by the Texas State University School of Social Work, Vitas Hospice of San Antonio, Hope Hospice of New Braunfels, Hospice Austin, VistaCare Hospice of San Marcos and Central Texas Medical Center Hospice of San Marcos.

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