‘I asked Jai what she has learned since my diagnosis,’ Randy Pausch wrote about his wife in The Last Lecture. ‘Turns out, she could write a book titled Forget the Last Lecture; Here’s the Real Story.’
In Dream New Dreams, Jai Pausch shares her own story for the first time: her emotional journey from wife and mother to full-time caregiver, shuttling between her three young children and Randy’s bedside as he sought treatment far from home; and then to widow and single parent, fighting to preserve a sense of stability for her family, while coping with her own grief and the challenges of running a household without a partner.
Jai paints a vivid, honest portrait of a vital, challenging relationship between two strong people who faced a grim prognosis and the self-sacrificing decisions it often required. As she faced life without the husband she called her ‘magic man,’ Jai learned to make herself a priority to create a new life of hope and happiness – as she puts it, to ‘feel a spark of my own magic beginning to flicker.’
Dream New Dreams is a powerful story of grief, healing, and newfound independence. With advice artfully woven into an intimate, beautifully written narrative, Jai’s story will inspire not only the legions of readers who made The Last Lecture a bestseller, but also those who are embarking on a journey of loss and recovery themselves.
“A touching memoir of grief…Far from being a mere add-on to her late husband’s book, this work stands on its own as an eloquent testimony of a caregiver… Pausch does an admirable job of narrating the story of her husband’s illness, death and its aftermath, keeping the reader continually engaged and drawn into her world. Most notably, Pausch manages to share her pain and heartache at an intensely personal level without ever sounding self-absorbed or asking for the reader’s pity. She makes it clear that her years of marriage and family life overshadow even the pain of losing her husband, and as the book closes, she focuses on the importance of rebuilding her life and, as she puts it, dreaming new dreams.”
–Kirkus (starred review)
A brave and beautiful book. Dream New Dreams grabbed my heart from the opening page and didn’t let go until its uplifting end. Jai Pausch is a stirring example of the power of life to triumph over any challenge. Bravo.”
–Bruce Feiler, bestselling author of Walking the Bible and The Council of Dads
Jai Pausch became an impassioned advocate promoting pancreatic cancer research following the death, in 2008, of her husband, Randy Pausch, acclaimed Carnegie Mellon University professor and author of the international best seller, The Last Lecture. During Randy’s twenty-three-month battle with cancer, Jai took on the responsibility as his cancer caregiver, learning specialised medical, palliative, and hospice care. Previously, Jai Pausch led the Carnegie Mellon School of Computer Science Web team as the Director of Electronic Publications. Today, Pausch researches do-it-yourself instructional videos for home repairs and remodeling. She lives with her children, Dylan, Logan and Chloe, in Hampton Roads, Virginia.
Jeffrey Zaslow: On a special note, we were extremely saddened to hear of the death of Jeffrey Zaslow, who wrote The Last Lecture with Randy Pausch. A columnist for The Wall Street Journal, he wrote several inspirational stories which were New York Times bestsellers.
The New York Times published an article on Jeffrey Zaslow’s life and work here.