Press & Reviews

USA Today: College 'death class' takes students to cemeteries, hospice centers and the morgue.

National broadcast: Erika Hayasaki and Norma Bowe on NPR’s “Weekend Edition” LISTEN

MSNBC-TV “The Cycle” – interview with both Erika Hayasaki and Dr. Norma Bowe.

PBS "Between the Lines," with Barry Kibrick, interview with Erika Hayasaki and Norma Bowe. 

NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW: “[Hayasaki] skillfully weaves together difficult stories, finding unexpected connections….The book’s strength lies in the well-observed details of the lives portrayed, and in the recognition that the work Bowe and her students are doing is messy, necessary stuff. Hayasaki acknowledges this by bookending chapters with writing prompts from Bowe’s syllabus—‘Be a Ghost’—as if to encourage readers to consider the big questions on their own.”

CHICAGO TRIBUNE reviewAt its heart, this book spotlights a bumpy but certain road to resurrection and imparts its wisdom as it traverses a drama-filled landscape, one pocked with suicides and cold-blooded murder, abuse and addiction…‘The Death Class’ manages to glide gracefully and delicately through the parts — say, the autopsy table — where you're sure you'll retch, if you can even keep your eyes on the page. And for sticking with it, you're rewarded with poetic passages and assorted revelations you'll likely not forget….Hayasaki, through Bowe, drums in the essential lessons of how by finding purpose beyond ourselves, we infuse our lives with meaning and lessen our fear of death….Hayasaki packs those lessons solidly into her new book, ‘The Death Class: A True Story About Life,’ a text that practically serves as a take-home version of the class, filled as it is with writing assignments and discussion questions sure to stir deep thinking….[a] wisdom-packed primer…a book that probes death is one that shines light on how to live well, how to live a life of meaning…”

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY review“Readers will come away struck by Bowe's compassion—and by the unexpectedly life-affirming messages of courage that spring from her students' harrowing experiences.”

LOS ANGELES TIMES feature interview with Erika Hayasaki Q&A with Erika Hayasaki

The Times Weekly syndicated review“Though it has a title that might make you think it would be dark, depressing or even a little bit maudlin, ‘The Death Class’ is really anything but. That journalism background is apparent in Hayasaki’s writing, which is excellent: Hayasaki has a reporter’s way of winnowing out the facts, the interesting stuff, small details and tiny secrets that make us want to know more. She immerses us so well into the story of the class, students and professor that it’s almost easy to forget we’re reading. We become part of what’s happening, complete with triumphs, gasps and life-affirming inspiration. This book is fascinating, a true pleasure to read. If you want something that puts life’s purpose into perspective, this is it.”

BOOKLIST – STARRED REVIEW:  “Hayasaki offers a completely engaging look at death and the meaning of life.”

KIRKUS – review: “At the end of every chapter, Hayasaki includes an assignment from Bowe’s syllabus… These assignments invite readers to consider the essential question of Bowe’s course—and Hayasaki’s book: How can we learn to celebrate life?” – review: "Erika Hayasaki has beautifully distilled her hands-on research, giving readers much useful information to digest while sharing important life lessons."

Sirius XM Radio + NPR/ “Bob Edwards Show” interview with Erika Hayasaki and Norma Bowe

Nat’l Synd. Radio/ “2BoomerBabes Radio Hour” interview with Norma Bowe

NYC/ WNYC-FM (NPR affil)/ “Leonard Lopate Show”– interview with both Erika Hayasaki and Dr. Norma Bowe with past/current students calling in: listen

L.A. / KPFK-FM / “Deadline LA” — interview with Erika Hayasaki: listen

KUCI-FM (NPR affiliate in Irvine, CA)/ "Writers on Writing" with Marrie Stone — interview with Erika Hayasaki: listen

NJ/ Local PBS-TV/ “Life & Living with Joanna Gagis” – interview with Dr. Norma Bowe

L.A./ KLCS-TV (PBS affil)/  “Between the Lines” – interview with Erika Hayasaki & Norma Bowe


NEWARK STAR LEDGER – article about book in education column

LOS ANGELES TIMES – op-ed by author

LOS ANGELES MAGAZINE – new books roundup and culture files article

BOSTON GLOBE – review“By chronicling the stories of Bowe and four of her students, Hayasaki imbues the austere topic of death with tangible narrative immediacy. It’s a book of powerful scenes…”

NAPLES DAILY NEWS (FL) – syndicated review

MARCO NEWS (FL) – syndicated review

NEWARK STAR-LEDGER – ran LAT op-ed by Erika Hayasaki

MONTCLAIR TIMES (NJ) – feature interview

LOS ANGELES TIMES – feature interview with Erika Hayasaki

CHRONICLE (Willimantic, CT) – ran LAT op-ed by Erika Hayaski

EAGLE TRIBUNE (MA) – syndicated review

SUN NEWS (MYRTLE BEACH, FL) - syndicated review

NEW JERSEY MONTHLY – book coverage and interview with Dr. Norma Bowe and her class

ORANGE COAST MAGAZINE – feature interview with Erika Hayasaki

NEWS-GAZETTE (Champaign, IL) – feature interview with Erika Hayasaki

IdeasFestival on IF Radio– podcast interview with Norma Bowe

Minnesota Public Radio/ “The Daily Circuit” – interview with Dr. Norma Bowe: listen

MEDIA BISTRO – Fish Bowl NY feature on Erika Hayasaki

A Good Goodbye podcast– interview with Erika Hayasaki and Norma Bowe

Barnes & Noble: – review

WILL-FM (NPR affilliate in Champaign-Urbana, IL), “Focus” with Jim Meadows, interview with Erika Hayasaki and Norma Bowe 

Book Radio Show (based in Long Beach, CA), with Kari Moran, Producer/Host