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Traveling with Ghosts

Shannon Leone Fowler

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Autobiography: historical, political & military, Autobiography: literary, Memoirs, Prose: non-fiction, Coping with death & bereavement

In the summer of 2002, Shannon Leone Fowler was backpacking with her fiance Sean in Thailand. The couple were planning to return home after their excursion to the island of Koh Pha Ngan but their plans were devastated when a box jellyfish - the most venomous animal in the world - wrapped itself around Sean's legs, stinging and killing him in minutes. Rejecting the Thai authorities' attempt to label Sean's death as 'drunk drowning', Shannon accompanied his body home to his stunned family - a family to which she suddenly no longer belonged.

Shattered, untethered and alone, Shannon set out on a journey to make sense of her loss. From contemplating the silence of Auschwitz to learning the rules for sitting shiva amid daily bombings in Israel, to finding humour and creativity in Sarajevo, a city still scarred by the recent war, Shannon charts a path through sorrow towards recovery.

Traveling with Ghosts is a beautiful memorial to love and an intensely personal account of learning to live with grief. It is the story of a brave journey towards survival.

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Shannon Leone Fowler

Shannon Leone Fowler is a marine biologist, writer, and single mother of three young children, living in London. Since her doctorate on Australian sea lions, she's taught marine ecology in the Bahamas and Galapagos, led a university course on killer whales in the San Juan islands, spent a number of seasons as marine mammal biologist onboard ships in both the Arctic and Antarctic, taught graduate students field techniques while studying Weddell seals on the Ross Ice Shelf, and worked as a science writer at National Public Radio in Washington, DC. TRAVELING WITH GHOSTS is her first book.