The Before I Die Book

Publishers Weekly calls the Before I Die book “a powerful and valuable reminder that life is for the living, and it’s never too late, or too early, to join the party.”

After the death of someone she loved, artist Candy Chang painted the side of an abandoned house in her neighborhood in New Orleans with chalkboard paint and stenciled the sentence, “Before I die I want to _____.” Within a day of the wall’s completion, it was covered in colorful chalk dreams as neighbors stopped and reflected on their lives. Since then, more than 4,000 Before I Die walls have been created in over 75 countries and over 35 languages by passionate people around the world.

A recipient of a 2014 American Library Association award, this full-color hardcover book is a celebration of these walls and the stories behind them. Filled with hope, fear, humor, and heartbreak, Before I Die presents an intimate portrait of the dreams within our communities and a chance to ponder life’s ultimate question with the people around us.


St. Martin's Press
304 pages

Available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Powell’s, and a bookstore near you.