Penguin Bookshop Writers Series: An Evening with Theresa Brown

Penguin Bookshop Writers Series:
An Evening with Theresa Brown

Tuesday, April 11, 2023 at 7:00 PM 



In her captivating 2015 New York Times bestseller, The Shift: One Nurse, Twelve Hours, Four Patients’ Lives, Theresa Brown offered readers an eye-opening glimpse into a full day at her hospital’s cancer ward, providing a compassionate view inside the complex inner workings of our healthcare system and the individual struggles of her patients. Now, Brown has returned with an unprecedented look at this system from the viewpoint of a cancer patient she had never encountered: herself. Now, Healing: When a Nurse Becomes a Patient, Brown tells her intensely personal story and presents an honest – and rare – look at struggling with the illness while navigating the maze of American health care from the unique standpoint of both a patient and a practitioner.

We are pleased to welcome Pittsburgh native Theresa Brown to the Penguin Bookshop to celebrate the paperback release of Healing. Theresa will be joined by Nancy Zionts, the COO for the Jewish Healthcare Foundation, to discuss her experiences and her process in writing this memoir. The conversation will conclude with a Q&A from the audience. 


Theresa Brown, RN, author of the New York Times bestseller The Shift, has been a contributor to the New York Times. Her writing appears on and in the American Journal of Nursing, the Journal of the American Medical Association, and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. She has been a guest on MSNBC Live and NPR’s Fresh Air. Her first book was Critical Care, and during what she calls her past life, she received a PhD in English from the University of Chicago. She lectures nationally and internationally on issues related to nursing, health care, and end of life.

Nancy Zionts, COO/Chief Program Officer for the Jewish Healthcare Foundation, is responsible for the grant agenda for the Foundation, and its operating arms, Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative and Health Careers Futures, and WHAMglobal. She currently leads the Foundation’s Revisiting the Teaching Nursing Home Initiative and the new Statewide Long Term Care Learning Network for Nursing Facilities. She has been active in many of the Foundation’s initiatives including its women’s heart health initiative, Working Hearts, Closure and Caregiver Champions Initiatives, the JHF Fellowship On Death and Dying: The Elephant in the Room, Tomorrow’s HealthCare, the Foundation’s Champions Programs, and the Pennsylvania Health Funders Collaborative, among others. Ms. Zionts has been a member of Grantmakers in Aging for over 25 years and has served on the Board and many of its Committees. She is a native of Montreal, Canada who holds a bachelor's degree in chemistry and an MBA, both from Concordia University.


“An unflinching look by a former nurse at the lack of compassion in our health-care system and the harms that patients suffer because of it…Brown writes with a winning combination of passion, humor and medical knowledge.” —Washington Post

 “An extraordinary writer, Theresa Brown brings the reader into all of her worlds, showing how cancer affected her as a patient, nurse, mother, daughter, wife, and friend. This is more than a good read. Oops, I am crying again.” —Claire M. Fagin, PhD, RN, Professor Emerita and Dean Emerita, School of Nursing, University of Pennsylvania 

“This is the book I want to give to all my colleagues and patients—a smart, moving, clear-eyed, yet ultimately hopeful jewel of a read on health and care from one of the most thoughtful healthcare writers I know.” —Pauline W. Chen, MD, New York Times contributor and bestselling author of Final Exam: A Surgeon’s Reflections on Mortality

“Timely . . . Brown’s clear-eyed and eloquent examination of illness—from the inside and from the outside—is illuminating… moving and enlightening.” —Library Journal

“In her wide-ranging examination of fear, illness, and life in what she calls ‘cancer’s shadow,’ Brown never fails to reveal her own humanity. Healing is a book not only for breast cancer patients and their loved ones, but for anyone else who cares about caring. Most importantly, Brown shows us the importance of perspective: how the value of compassion becomes infinitely greater when it becomes your own life that needs saving.” —Chicago Review of Books

“Healing should be read by everyone, not just those facing cancer. Brown experiences both grief and revelation, and the beauty of her book is that we learn so much about hope and fear and coping, about living and dying and everything in between.” —Bobbie Berkowitz, PhD, RN, FAAN, Emeritus Dean, Columbia University School of Nursing

Healing: When a Nurse Becomes a Patient By Theresa Brown Cover Image
ISBN: 9781643753386
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Algonquin Books - April 11th, 2023

Event address: 
Penguin Bookshop
417 Beaver Street
Sewickley, PA 15143
Event date: 
Tuesday, April 11, 2023 - 7:00pm