In the Heart of Life (Hardcover)
HarperOne, 9780062048622, 384pp.
Publication Date: September 24, 2013
A Mother Loses Almost Everything Before She Discovers True Joy
In 1977, Kathy Eldon moved with her husband and two children from England to Kenya, where she found freedom as she had never known it before and was ready to push back from her old, restrictive life. Diving into this tumultuous new world as a journalist and writer, she embraced the energy and creativity of Kenyans, both black and white. But her world collapsed when her twenty-two-year-old son, Dan—an artist and photojournalist on assignment for Reuters—was stoned to death by an angry mob in Somalia, killed by the very people he was trying to help. Kathy's journey through this tragic loss was deeply spiritual as she discovered that, in many ways, Dan was still ever-present in her life.
This gripping international saga includes a passionate love, a dangerous coup in Kenya, and a compelling glimpse into a woman on the brink of self-discovery. After her son's murder, Kathy began to publish his art, which gained popularity worldwide and—together with her daughter, Amy—launched a global foundation celebrating Dan's work as a creative activist. Throughout Kathy's exploration of profound tragedy, we find the secrets to not only surviving, but being truly, gloriously alive.
About the Author
Kathy Eldon has worked as a teacher, editor, journalist, and film and television producer. Following the death of her son, Dan, she and her daughter, Amy, launched Creative Visions Foundation to support creative activists who, like Dan, use media to inform, inspire, and empower positive change. CVF has incubated more than one hundred and fifty projects and productions on five continents, touching the lives of more than one hundred million people.
Praise For In the Heart of Life: A Memoir…
— Christiane Amanpour
“Kathy Eldon has made something profoundly inspiring out of the unthinkably heartbreaking. A memoir of breathtaking honesty; a mother’s heartsong to her children; an elegy for her wild and inspiring son; a testimony to being fiercely engaged in the world; and a love story to East Africa”.
— Alexandra Fuller
“Kathy Eldon has written the kind of personal memoir that captures in exquisite, emotionally charged detail a life of adventure, love and loss-and ultimate redemption through creativity and activism. The story of her search for meaning challenges our beliefs and opens our hearts to new possibilities.”
— Pat Mitchell, The Paley Center for Media
“Kathy inspires women to believe that they can do more than simply survive; they can thrive, and passionately create the lives of their choice.”
— Rosie O'Donnell, comedian, actress, and author
“Kathy Eldon’s courage to live in the heart of life inspires all of us to live more soulfully, honestly, and passionately. By following her soul’s longings, she finds herself turning her pain into compassion and her failures into gifts. Her life is the true definition of a ‘hero’s journey.’”
— Maria Bello, actor and activist
“Kathy Eldon’s memoir is raw, honest, and instantly compelling-an amazing adventure of the heart that enlightens the soul. Thank goodness for this book and for the tremendous source of inspiration that is Kathy Eldon.”
— Ricki Lake, television personality
“This book compromised my sleep by keeping me up late at night; it impacted my work by compelling me to put aside things I needed to do so I could ‘just read a few pages.’ Kathy’s story is full of triumph and sorrow, heartbreak, and redemption. A remarkable read.”
— Susan Stiffleman, author of Parenting without Power Struggles, therapist, and parenting expert
The extraordinary memoir of a woman’s journey from Iowa to London to Kenya, from all that was safe and predictable to a transformative, dazzling, yet harrowing new life and existence-transforming the depths of pain to the heights of activism.”
— Ann Haggart, Annenberg Foundation
“In the Heart of Life is not just a memoir, but a journey of the soul looking for the light. We are taken on a stunning adventure of love, loss, hope, forgiveness, and dreams. A must read for anyone who has ever loved, lost, and still seeks the answers.”
— Elinor Tatum, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief, Amsterdam News
“Kathy Eldon shares an extraordinary tale-at times heartbreaking, at times exuberant. Every twist, every turn, every triumph and tragedy reflects a woman facing life’s most tender, vulnerable, scary moments and saying...YES. Her courage in embracing life inspires me to do the same.”
— Lyndon Harris, founder, The Gardens of Forgiveness Project
Kathy Eldon’s memoir is truly magnificent. Kathy has truly lived a glass-full life in spite of the terrible setbacks and I can only marvel at her tenacity for finding what is good in tragic circumstances and making all of us try to do better in our own lives.
— Larry Kirshbaum, VP, Amazon Publishing
“Kathy’s extraordinary story has been an inspiration for countless others seeking to fill their lives with purpose. Her ability to find meaning in - and transcend - suffering, and her experiences in America, Europe, and Africa remind us that the strength we look for is already inside each of us.”
— Kweku Mandela