The Art of Dying

Writings, 2019-2022


The complete last essays of acclaimed writer Peter Schjeldahl, the great New Yorker art critic

This book is not yet published, but will be available from July 2024.

ISBN: 9781419773242 Category:

Peter Schjeldahl


When the New Yorker art critic Peter Schjeldahl published his widely read autobiographical essay “The Art of Dying” in December 2019, he reported that he had lung cancer and his oncologist had given him six months to live, but his experimental treatment was showing some improvement. “These extra months,” he wrote, “are a luxury that I hope to have put to good use.” And he did. The Art of Dying: Writings, 2019-2022 begins with that essay and collects all 46 pieces that he wrote for the magazine before his death in October 2022. These last works express Schjeldahl’s hard-won reflections on art and life, against the backdrop of an intensely anxious period in America, spanning the pandemic, the George Floyd protests, the, 2020 presidential election, and the war in Ukraine. Schjeldahl, who was the leading art writer of his generation, wrote with generosity and openness about the art world during these tempestuous three years. Comedian Steve Martin contributes a foreword and writer and curator Jarrett Earnest contributes an introduction.

Additional information

Weight 518 g
Dimensions 16.1 x 23.5 cm
Publisher name ABRAMS
Publication date 11 July 2024
Number of pages 288
Format Hardback
Contributors Foreword by Steve Martin, Introduction by Jarrett Earnest
Dimensions 16.1 x 23.5 cm
Weight 518 g


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Peter Schjeldahl was the art critic for The New Yorker for 24 years until his death in 2022. He was a finalist for the 2022 Pulitzer Prize in Criticism. Prior to that, he wrote art criticism for Seven Days and the Village Voice. In 2019, Abrams published his Hot, Cold, Heavy, Light: 100 Art Writings, 1988-2018, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.

Steve Martin’s books include An Object of Beauty: A Novel (2011), Shopgirl: A Novella (2006), and his memoir Born Standing Up (2007). He lives in New York City.

Jarrett Earnest is a writer and curator, and the author of What it Means to Write About Art: Interviews with Art Critics (2018). He lives in New York City.