Practice Dying is about twins, David and Jamila, who seek meaning and connection from opposite ends of the world. Just as she turns 30, Jamila falls in love with an Indian pastry chef who is temporarily in New York City. When that doomed relationship falters, she unsuccessfully tries to commit suicide, and David flies immediately home from Tibet. David is a devoted Buddhist who has been mentored by the 14th Dalai Lama. He is obsessed with a rash of self-immolations by Tibetan monks who are protesting China’s occupation of their country and attempts to annihilate their culture. In alternating chapters, the twins grapple with family bonds, spirituality, illness, death, and love.
Rachel Stolzman Gullo is the author of The Sign for Drowning (Shambhala 2008). Her poetry and fiction have appeared in various publications. Practice Dying was a semi-finalist for Best Novel in the William Faulkner-William Wisdom Literary Competition, received a fellowship from Summer Literary Seminars, and was a finalist for the Inkubate Literary Blockbuster Challenge. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Sarah Lawrence College and lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two sons.
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