Law professor David R. Dow’s first book, The Autobiography of an Execution, was a memoir about his experience defending inmates facing death row. The book was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and was widely recognized by critics and readers alike for its straightforward, candid and sobering view of the death penalty in the United States.

Dow gave a Ted Talk in 2012 discussing lessons he learned from death row inmates:

Dow’s new book, Things I’ve Learned from Dying: A Book About Lifeis the Austin-American Statesmans January  Statesman Selects pick.  The book, again a memoir, approaches the topic of death from a more personal angle. When his father-in-law is diagnosed with terminal cancer and his family’s beloved dog suffers liver failure, Dow, a man who’s witnessed dozens of executions and is no stranger to human mortality, must reconcile his own fears and anguish with the passing of those he has loved.


Read the Statesman‘s review of the memoir on Sunday, January 12. Join us here at BookPeople on Tuesday, January 14 at 7pm when Dow is here to speak about and sign his new book in person.


Copies of Things I’ve Learned from Dying are now available on our shelves at BookPeople and via We are currently taking orders for signed copies of Dow’s book via

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