Skip to main content
Harvard University Press - home
Saturday Is for Funerals

Saturday Is for Funerals

Unity Dow, Max Essex

ISBN 9780674061835

Publication date: 10/15/2011

Request exam copy

In the year 2000 the World Health Organization estimated that 85 percent of fifteen-year-olds in Botswana would eventually die of AIDS. In Saturday Is for Funerals we learn why that won’t happen.

Unity Dow and Max Essex tell the true story of lives ravaged by AIDS—of orphans, bereaved parents, and widows; of families who devote most Saturdays to the burial of relatives and friends. We witness the actions of community leaders, medical professionals, research scientists, and educators of all types to see how an unprecedented epidemic of death and destruction is being stopped in its tracks.

This book describes how a country responded in a time of crisis. In the true-life stories of loss and quiet heroism, activism and scientific initiatives, we learn of new techniques that dramatically reduce rates of transmission from mother to child, new therapies that can save lives of many infected with AIDS, and intricate knowledge about the spread of HIV, as well as issues of confidentiality, distributive justice, and human rights. The experiences of Botswana offer practical lessons along with the critical element of hope.

Praise

  • This is a remarkable account of the human effect of a pandemic, written by two people with an intimate knowledge of Botswana and its struggle to deal with AIDS. I recommend this book most warmly for its humanity and insight.

    —Alexander McCall Smith

Authors

  • Unity Dow is a practicing lawyer in Botswana and the author of four novels. She was formerly a judge with both the Botswana High Court and The Interim Constitutional Court of Kenya.
  • Max Essex is Mary Woodard Lasker Professor of Health Sciences at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health. He has been involved in AIDS research from the earliest days of the U.S. epidemic in 1982.

Book Details

  • 240 pages
  • 5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches
  • Harvard University Press

Recommendations