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  • Published: 1 November 2016
  • ISBN: 9781846143991
  • Imprint: Penguin Press
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 688
  • RRP: $22.99

Strangers Drowning




How far would you go for others, and how far should you go? Would you donate your kidney? Adopt twenty kids? Live in a leprosy colony in the wilderness? Told with compassion and beauty, this is the story of the people who do: their tough courage and extraordinary, unsettling goodness.

There are those of us who help and those wholive to help. In Strangers Drowning, celebrated journalist Larissa MacFarquhar digs deep into the psychological roots and existential dilemmas motivating those rare individuals practising lives of extreme ethical commitment. The donor who offers up her kidney to a complete stranger; the activist who abandons possessions to devote himself to the cause; the foster parent who adopts dozens of children: such do-gooders inspire us but also force us to question deep-seated notions about what it means to be human. How could these do-gooders value strangers as much as their own loved ones? What does it really take to live a life of extreme virtue? Might it mean making choices as heartbreaking as the one in the old philosophy problem: abandoning a single family member to drown so that two strangers might live?

  • Published: 1 November 2016
  • ISBN: 9781846143991
  • Imprint: Penguin Press
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 688
  • RRP: $22.99

Praise for Strangers Drowning

Superb . . . This writer does so many things well that it's hard to know where to begin . . . If her book does not provoke and unsettle you, you may not have a pulse

Dwight Garner, The New York Times

Chilling and utterly absorbing . . . We are obsessed by the psychology of evil, but the psychology of goodness is far harder to understand

Frances Wilson, Daily Telegraph

May change not just how you see the world, but how you live in it

Katherine Boo, author of Behind the Beautiful Forevers

Beautifully written, digs deep into the awkward questions

James McConnachie, Sunday Times,Books of the Year

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