Natalie Goldberg, Let the Whole Thundering World Come Home

A powerful memoir from Natalie Golderg--the woman who changed the way writing is taught in this country--sharing her experience with cancer grounded in her practice of writing and Zen.

A moving and clear-looking memoir on being in love with your life even when life brings illness, from longtime Zen practitioner and world-renowned writing teacher Natalie Goldberg.

When Natalie learns that she has CLL, a potentially fatal form of blood cancer, she is plunged into the world of hospitals, doctors, and medication. While trying to find a footing in this new and strange world, her partner, Yu-kwan, is also diagnosed with cancer. The cancer twins, as Natalie calls herself and Yu-kwan, must each navigate their own illness while somehow trying to stay in love and heal.

"When you go through extreme sickness, when everything you know and lived is tossed out the window and glass shatters . . . this too is part of life. Don't give up. Pay attention. We have to make ourselves larger to include the inconceivable."

Through a direct and grounded narrative, Natalie illuminates a path through illness: that we need to be in love with the life we have, to embrace the dark and the light in our life. For Natalie, writing and painting represent the light, and her cancer takes her deeper into her art practices. Balanced with a Zen practice that helps her to face death, this book is a moving meditation on living life in full bloom.

Natalie Goldberg is the author of over fourteen books, including the bestselling Writing Down the Bones, which has changed the way writing is taught. Her other books include Wild Mind, The Long Quiet Highway (both published by Bantam), and The Great Spring (Shambhala). She continues to lead workshops and retreats nationally and internationally, which she has done for over forty years. She has also painted for as long as she has written. She lives in northern New Mexico. For more information, please visit


“Grounded, heartbreaking, and full of hope, Let the Whole Thundering World Come Home shows us how to meet the reality of illness and recovery head-on with courage and grace.”—Ruth Ozeki, author of A Tale for the Time Being

“This is the book that didn’t exist: an unflinchingly gorgeous exploration of being sick while being very much alive. Let the Whole Thundering World Come Home is both generous and wise, glorious proof that our darkest moments are also our most illuminating, that being vulnerable is an act of true courage, and that often we are most present and awake when our future is uncertain. This book is both a comfort and a wonder. I couldn’t put it down.”—Katie Arnold, author of Running Home

“This riveting and deeply honest book is for all of us. It opens up the road of diagnosis, dying, and life in a way no other book I have read does. It is a powerful narrative of truth and rawness that will touch and teach us.”—Joan Halifax, PhD; abbot, Upaya Zen Center; founder of the Project on Being with Dying; author of Being with Dying and Standing at the Edge

“Fragile, bare, and enormous, Let the Whole Thundering World Come Home masterfully prepares us, young and old, with medical wisdom, love, and insight for our inevitable moments of facing death.”—Kazuaki Tanahashi, author of Painting Peace

“With alert stillness infused with intention, Natalie Goldberg meets mortality head-on. Beautifully written, this is a book about love, loss, and down-to-the-marrow courage.”—Wendy Johnson, author of Gardening at the Dragon’s Gate

Event date: 
Saturday, June 9, 2018 - 3:00pm
Event address: 
4022 Rio Grande Blvd NW
Albuquerque, NM 87107
Let the Whole Thundering World Come Home: A Memoir Cover Image
ISBN: 9781611805673
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Shambhala - June 5th, 2018

The Great Spring: Writing, Zen, and This Zigzag Life Cover Image
ISBN: 9781611804072
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Shambhala - February 14th, 2017

Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within Cover Image
By Natalie Goldberg, Julia Cameron (Foreword by)
ISBN: 9781611803082
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Shambhala - February 2nd, 2016

Living Color: Painting, Writing, and the Bones of Seeing Cover Image
ISBN: 9781617690846
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harry N. Abrams - March 11th, 2014

The True Secret of Writing: Connecting Life with Language Cover Image
ISBN: 9781451641257
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Atria Books - February 11th, 2014

Old Friend from Far Away: The Practice of Writing Memoir Cover Image
ISBN: 9781416535034
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Atria Books - March 10th, 2009

The Great Failure: My Unexpected Path to Truth Cover Image
ISBN: 9780060816124
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: HarperOne - October 4th, 2005

Top of My Lungs Cover Image
ISBN: 9781585675302
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Harry N. Abrams - April 27th, 2004

Long Quiet Highway: Waking Up in America Cover Image
ISBN: 9780553373158
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Bantam - February 1994

Wild Mind: Living the Writer's Life Cover Image
ISBN: 9780553347753
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Bantam - October 1990