The Buddhist on Death Row: How One Man Found Light in the Darkest Place


Product Details

$27.00  $24.84
Simon & Schuster
Publish Date
5.5 X 8.4 X 1.2 inches | 0.8 pounds

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About the Author

DAVID SHEFF is the author of several books, including the #1 New York Times best-selling memoir Beautiful Boy. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, the New York Times Magazine, Rolling Stone, Playboy, Wired, and many other publications. His ongoing research and reporting on the science of addiction earned him a place on Time magazine's list of the World's Most Influential People. Sheff and his family live in the San Francisco Bay Area. Visit David at, and on Twitter @david_sheff.


"This book shows vividly how, even in the face of the greatest adversity, compassion and a warm-hearted concern for others bring peace and inner strength."

-- His Holiness the Dalai Lama

"An inspiring book about how meaning can be found even in--perhaps especially in--adversity. It's a study of Buddhism, of criminal justice, of the ways people connect with each other, and it's written with deep feeling and verve."

--Andrew Solomon, Author of New York Times Bestseller Far From the Tree

"This profound, gorgeous book displays the miraculous human capacity to find redemption, and even joy, no matter who or where we are. Jarvis Masters' story proves that we are all united by our suffering and by our potential to help others who suffer."

--Sr. Helen Prejean, author of Dead Man Walking

"I'm a friend of Jarvis Masters, so I know the truth of this book, but I want to hail its power. I believe it will encourage many people to examine their own lives and their unrealized potential for awareness, generosity, commitment, and courage."

--Rebecca Solnit, author of Men Explain Things to Me

"This is a beautiful, profoundly spiritual book, and a page-turner. Jarvis Jay Masters' transformation from an unloved child of violence and poverty to Buddhist teacher on Death Row, is thrilling. Reading it changed me, threw the lights on, opened and gentled my heart. I'm going to give it to everyone I know".

--Anne Lamott, New York Times bestselling author of Almost Everything

"This book celebrates a liberation not gained by guns and gangs, prison breaks and murder, but by sitting with one's breath and believing in the perfection of the universe and all who strive and suffer within it. The Buddhist on Death Row is a deeply useful reminder that we can all be free regardless of where we are placed."

--Alice Walker, author of The Color Purple

"An indelible portrait of an incarcerated man finding new life and purpose behind bars."

--Kirkus Reviews

"Stirring...Sheff asks readers to consider how one's perspective can turn a situation of "sadness, pain, and regret" into "light and joy and love." This Buddhist Dead Man Walking will pull at the heartstrings of any reader."

--Publishers Weekly (starred)