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IN BRIEF

Noniction

January 27, 1991|Chris Goodrich

BETWEEN HELLO & GOODBYE: A Man and Woman's Struggle for Dignity against Disease and an Unresponsive Medical Establishment by Jean Craig (Jeremy P. Tarcher: $18.95; 316 pp.). Books recounting personal crises often are maudlin and self-serving, but Jean Craig's stands out firmly and vibrantly from the crowd. She was struck by metaphorical lightning not once but twice: in 1964, when first husband Kevin was told he'd likely be dead within a year from atherosclerosis, and in 1986, when second husband Ed was diagnosed as having advanced, terminal cancer. Kevin lived another 13 years, Ed a further 18 months and more, but their startling longevity, according to Craig, resulted from sheer willpower, not medical treatment. Craig wrote her book mainly to indict the unfeeling doctors who "cared" for her husbands, and it's very effective on that level, but her account is above all a loving, lovely tribute to two men and their families. Craig, co-owner of Los Angeles' Kresser/Craig advertising agency, articulates perfectly the purpose of her book: to tell the world it isn't necessary to achieve victory in order to triumph. "Between Hello & Goodbye" is an unexpected wonder.

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