Radical Acts of Love

Twenty Conversations to Inspire Hope at the End of Life

Janie Brown

Radical Acts of Love by Janie Brown (Paperback ISBN 9781786899033) book cover

Available as Paperback, eBook, Downloadable audio

A profoundly moving account of an oncology nurse’s conversations with the dying

‘Insightful, wise and life-affirming’ Observer
‘Turns death into life, despair into hope, sorrow into joy’ Stephen Fry

In Radical Acts of Love, Janie Brown, oncology nurse and counsellor, offers a sensitive and wise insight into our final moments by recounting twenty conversations she has had with people who were dying.

“Janie Brown demonstrates the power of a book to transform, in fact to turn things upside down. She turns death into life, despair into hope, sorrow into joy and pain into love with these twenty astonishing encounters with the dying … Unforgettably wise, kind and wonderful”
Stephen Fry

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“A book about love as much as it is about death … This is a glorious book that I would not hesitate to give to anyone facing an unwelcome diagnosis or prognosis of their own or of a loved one. It is kind and practical. . I learned so much and feel glad that it exists and convinced that many people will be helped by Brown’s generous sharing of more than 30 years’ experience of working with the dying”
Cathy Rentzenbrink
the Times

“Brown is a deeply compassionate and sensitive interlocutor and these accounts brim with humanity … Insightful, wise and life-affirming, Brown’s book teaches us that sharing someone’s final weeks is perhaps the most radical act of love we can offer”

“Compassionate, sensitive and heart-warming tales of the one thing in life that’s certain”
Professor Stephen Westaby
sunday Times Bestselling Author Of Fragile Lives

“For a book that concerns itself with so many ways of coming to terms with death, this remarkable book is hugely life-affirming. It makes you think not just of how you might want to approach death, but of how you might want to live. These conversations from the heart of dying are bold, gracious, often witty and full of love. They accompany you in the dark. Then they let the light in”
Jackie Kay

Janie Brown

Janie Brown is an author, a leader in oncology nursing, the founder and executive director of a non-profit organisation called the Callanish Society (callanish.org) in Vancouver, Canada, and a visionary for new global conversations about living, healing, death and dying. Janie was raised in Glasgow, educated at St Andrews University with an MA in psychology, and studied nursing in Edinburgh before emigrating to Canada in 1984. She received her Masters in Nursing at the University of British Columbia and has worked as an oncology nurse and counsellor in Vancouver for over thirty years.


If you were ill and I couldn’t be with you, don’t worry, I would FaceTime, Zoom, Skype, phone, write letters, send videos and anything else I could think of to tell you how much I love you, and what an amazing mum you have been to me.

Janie Brown is the author of Radical Acts of Love – a moving account of her conversations with the dying during her thirty years as an oncology nurse. She has joined the Letters Live campaign #ReadALetter, reading a letter she’s written to her mum.