Our Last Best Act: Planning for the End of Our Lives to Protect the People and Places We Love

(Author) (Foreword by)

Product Details

$18.99  $17.66
Broadleaf Books
Publish Date
5.09 X 7.96 X 0.64 inches | 0.47 pounds

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About the Author

Mallory McDuff teaches environmental education at Warren Wilson College outside Asheville, North Carolina. With her two daughters, she lives on campus in a 900-square-foot house with an expansive view of the Appalachian mountains. She is the author of four books, including Natural Saints: How People of Faith Are Working to Save God's Earth. Her essays have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Rumpus, Sojourners, and more.

Becca Stevens is an author, speaker, priest, social entrepreneur, founder, and president of Thistle Farms. Her work has been profiled on PBS NewsHour, The Today Show, CNN, and in The New York Times. Her awards include CNN Hero, White House Champion of Change, and Humanitarian of the Year by the Small Business Council of America.


"Our Last Best Act asks us to think about how to care for ourselves, our families, and the earth with tenderness as we approach the ends of our lives. It is a nurturing, passionate, yet eminently practical look at how the choices about death we make now will impact life for generations. It belongs in the library of everyone who works in end-of-life care, and everyone who cares for the planet." --Kerry Egan, author of On Living

"Our Last Best Act will change your death, and maybe even your life." --Bill McKibben, author of The End of Nature

"Freedom lives within these candid and composed pages. Our Last Best Act is a gentle and compassionate bow to the Earth. Let our decomposition be our resurrection." --Terry Tempest Williams, author of Erosion: Essays of Undoing

"Mallory McDuff delves into the difficult topic of death with grace and aplomb, showing how dying, and the choices we make in the aftermath of death, is a mutual and intimate experience that extends across generations." --Devi Lockwood, author of 1,001 Voices on Climate Change: Everyday Stories of Flood, Fire, Drought, and Displacement from around the World

"A worthwhile and decidedly pleasant book that aids a valuable purpose in our complicated times and truly speaks to one of the deepest responsibilities of being human: caring for and burying our dead." --Elizabeth Fournier, author of The Green Burial Guidebook: Everything You Need to Plan an Affordable, Environmentally Friendly Burial

"Mallory McDuff's commitment to explore in depth the options available to us when we die, and to complete her own end of life plans, in alignment with the earth, and the realities of climate change, is admirable in and of itself. Our Last Best Act exemplifies beautifully how one individual's intentions and courage can model new ways of being for others and help transform society for the greater good." --Lucinda Herring, green funeral director, home funeral guide, and author of Reimagining Death: Stories and Practical Wisdom for Home Funerals and Green Burials

"This book is both practical and political, earthy and spiritual. It will help you think about not only your death. but also your life, with fearlessness and clarity." --Lauren F. Winner, author of Wearing God

"More than a fascinating manual on how to plan for death, Our Last Best Act is a loving invitation to courageously face a great and sacred responsibility." --Janisse Ray, author of Wild Spectacle: Finding Wholeness in a World Beyond Humans

"Mallory's writing is soul-filling, offering truth desperately needed in this time of climate catastrophe. Our Last Best Act is a timely read for revisioning living and dying, beautifully grounded with love for self, family, community, and planet." --Dayna Regerro, documentary filmmaker and founder, Climate Listening Project

"Mallory McDuff tells the story of the journey we are all on with wit, intention, insight, and tantalizing curiosity. Her vibrant description of conservation burial captures the essence of our mission that includes family harmony, personal resonance, and environmental justice when contemplating one of our most potentially impactful life--and death--decisions." --Lee Webster, former President of the Green Burial Council International and the National Home Funeral Alliance, and co-founder of the Conservation Burial Alliance and the National End-of-Life Doula Alliance

"It has been a blessing to read Our Last Best Act while my attention has been on my own mother's death. I urgently want friends and family to read it as they plan for their peaceable end as a part of healing this earth." --Brian Sellers-Petersen, Agrarian Missioner for the Episcopal Diocese of Olympia and coordinator of Good News Gardens for The Episcopal Church