David Sheff

Most known for his book, Beautiful Boy, the writing of which, along with much else David Sheff has written, has been about struggles people have with crippling addiction, with what devastation may be in their lives consequently, and for their seeking of healing and redemption. The latter are addressed in a different way in his powerful new book, The Buddhist on Death Row (Simon and Schuster). Here he tells the story of Jarvis Jay Masters, on death row in San Quentin since 1990, now known within and beyond prison walls as a remarkable Buddhist practitioner.

“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. 

“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.

“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.

Presented by Town Hall Arts & Culture in partnership with Elliott Bay Book Company.


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The Buddhist on Death Row: How One Man Found Light in the Darkest Place Cover Image
ISBN: 9781982128456
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster - August 4th, 2020

Wednesday, August 12, 2020 - 7:30pm
Virtual Event
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