Dr. Sherwin Nuland, author of 'How We Die,' dead at 83

(Reuters) - Dr. Sherwin Nuland, the author of the bestseller "How We Die," which talks candidly about how life ends in disease and old age, has died at the age of 83, his daughter said on Tuesday.

Nuland died Monday of prostate cancer at his home in Hamden, Connecticut, his daughter Amelia Nuland confirmed by telephone.

Nuland was a professor at the Yale School of Medicine, where he had received his medical degree in 1955, according to the university's website.

Nuland won the National Book Award for "How We Die: Reflections on Life's Final Chapter" in 1994. It was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.

The book was aimed at demythologizing death through accounts of how people die through old age, cancer, heart disease and other causes. Nuland was critical of doctors who prolong life unnecessarily, to the detriment of their patients' dignity and well-being.

"For those who die and those who love them, a realistic expectation is the surest path to tranquility," Nuland wrote.

Other books by Nuland include "Doctors: The Biography of Medicine" in 1988, "Medicine: The Art of Healing" in 1992, and "The Wisdom of the Body" in 1997.

Nuland's column, "The Uncertain Art," appeared regularly in the American Scholar.

(Reporting by Mary Wisniewski in Chicago; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)