Death and writing: Writing obituaries

On November 4, the Dying With Dignity Canada team was joined by Sandra Martin, award-winning journalist and a contributing writer for The Globe and Mail, to learn about death and writing.


Sandra Martin, an award-winning journalist and a contributing writer for The Globe and Mail, is the author of the critically acclaimed national bestseller, "A Good Death: Making the Most of Our Final Choices." Winner of the B.C. National Non-Fiction Award and a finalist for both the Dafoe Prize and the Donner Prize in Public Policy, "A Good Death" was named one of the best books of 2016 by The Globe and Mail, the CBC and several other media outlets. Margaret Atwood has called "A Good Death" a "timely and deeply felt account of assisted dying: the histories, the issues” and included it on her list of best books about death and dying. "A Good Death" was published in a revised paperback edition in 2017 with a new chapter on Bill C-14, Canada’s medical assistance in dying (MAID) law. 

An Atkinson Fellow in Public Policy from The Toronto Star, Martin has won two National Magazine Awards, several honourable mentions, the Fiona Mee Award for literary journalism, and a National Newspaper Award nomination for feature writing. As a journalist for The Globe and Mail, she was known for her books and arts coverage and especially for her perceptive, deeply researched and vividly written obituaries. Many of them formed the basis of her essays on the history, culture and future of obituaries in her book, "Working the Dead Beat: 50 lives that changed Canada." Long-listed for the Charles Taylor Prize and named a Globe one hundred book for 2012, it was published in paperback under the title, "Great Canadian Lives: A Cultural History of Modern Canada Through the Art of the Obit."

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