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The Boston Globe


Book Review

‘The Death Class’ by Erika Hayasaki

Shortly after sustaining five broken ribs and a brain hemorrhage in a car crash, professor Norma Bowe asked her doctor an unusual question: Could she parachute into Haiti to help victims of the recent earthquake? When her doctor gently suggested that this was not a good idea, Bowe settled for initiating a fund-raising effort that raised $185,000 for impoverished Native Americans in South Dakota.

Bowe is the heroine of Erika Hayasaki’s “The Death Class: A True Story About Life,’’ and she’s perpetually saving someone. She dispenses aspirin, therapy, and granola bars to her students and anyone else in need, and she mobilizes volunteers to renovate shelters and hospice homes around New Jersey.

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