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Grief Memoir by Alumna Wins Nautilus Silver Book Award: Tanja Pajevic

The Secret Life of Grief: A Memoir by Tanja Pajevic has been named a silver winner in the Nautilus Book Awards, an award celebrating books that inspire and connect people’s lives as individuals, communities and global citizens.

About The Secret Life of Grief: A Memoir

After her mother’s death, Tanja Pajevic explored what it meant to grieve consciously in a society that barely acknowledges grief. As the weeks passed, Pajevic—a first-generation, Serbian-American woman—delved into her anger, rage and sorrow, as well as explored the complicated issue of forgiveness. Along the way, she explored the rise and fall of communal mourning in the United States, as well as its roots in the current medical model.

Pajevic also examined ingrained family patterns she was ready to release—all while raising two young children and dealing with a husband facing his own challenges. Throughout, she reassessed and reconfigured her life, reconnected with her true self and found redemption and healing, as well as joy.

Additional Nautilus winners include Brene Brown, Tara Brach, Thich Nhat Hanh, J.D. Vance and Peter Wohlleben.

Now completing its 20th year, Nautilus Book Awards “recognizes books that transcend barriers of culture, gender, race, and class, and promote conscious living and green values, spiritual growth, wellness and vitality, and positive social change.”

Winners were determined by a unique three-tier system of judging books against a carefully prepared list of notable characteristics, by three teams of highly qualified, experienced reviewers including editors, writers, librarians, schoolteachers, psychologists and bookstore owners.

About Tanja Pajevic

The author of The Secret Life of Grief: A Memoir and 9 Steps to Heal Your Resentment and Reboot Your Marriage, Tanja Pajevic has taught at the University of Colorado Denver, the Community College of Denver and Indiana University, as well as in the larger community. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Huffington Post, mindbodygreen, Gawker and Scary Mommy, as well as in literary reviews, such as Shenandoah and Crab Orchard Review.

Pajevic currently helps heart-centered writers, leaders and entrepreneurs write and publish their books. She is the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship, Hemingway Fellowship, Kraft Fellowship and a faculty award from the University of Colorado Denver for her project “Writing as Healing.” Pajevic lives in Boulder, CO, with her husband Ken and their two sons, Nico and Gabriel. Connect with her at

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