Death An oral history

M. Casey Jarman

Book - 2016

In this illuminating collection of oral-history style interviews, Casey Jarman talks to a funeral industry watchdog about the (often shady) history of the death trade; he hears how songwriter David Bazan lost his faith while trying to hold on to his family; he learns about cartoonist Art Spiegelman using his college LSD trips to explain death to his children; and he gets to know his own grandparents, posthumously.

Saved in:

2nd Floor Show me where

306.9/Jarman
0 / 1 copies available
Location Call Number   Status
2nd Floor 306.9/Jarman Due Jun 4, 2022
Subjects
Genres
Anecdotes
Published
San Francisco, CA : Pulp [2016]
Language
English
Physical Description
351 pages : illustrations ; 20 cm
ISBN
9781942186120
1942186126
Main Author
M. Casey Jarman (author)
Other Authors
Brooke Weeber (-)
Review by Booklist Reviews

Jarman's first book (he's a music writer and a contributing editor for the Believer) is one of the most fun, surprising, and inventive essay books readers might find on any subject, let alone what's sure to be among many readers' least favorite subjects: death. Part memoir, with the flow and appeal similar to that of an episode of NPR's This American Life, this revelation of a book is chock-full of vignettes that dig deep into the psyche of the Grim Reaper and how we deal with him. With essay topics ranging from the death of a twin child in Jarman's hometown, to an interview with a friend after her mother dies, to a "sometimes" coworker who also has a job caring for hospice patients, Jarman toils under a blanket of irony as he bravely confronts death, a concept he's most afraid of, head-on. Despite the obvious morbidity of the topic, Jarman's unflinching curiosity on the machinations of death and dying make for an interesting romp and read. Copyright 2016 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Jarman, a contributing editor at the Believer, confronts his own mortal dread with this profound collection of essays, based on oral history–style interviews with experts on death such as Maus cartoonist Art Spiegelman, a funeral-focused consumer advocate, and a hospice worker. A childhood friend of Jarman's recounts his grief after his twin brother shot himself when the boys were in seventh grade, and his feelings of being left behind. A philosophy professor at Oregon State University outlines the curriculum for his "Death and Dying" course. A certified professional in life celebrations discusses the human need for ritual. Proving that even death has a mundane side, a reporter for the trade magazine Mortuary Management breaks down her process of writing copy for funeral home websites. In the most devastating chapter, Jarman interviews a close friend dealing with the recent and sudden death of her mother. Her shock and pain are visceral on the page, and she provides practical advice on how to support a grieving friend. Through Jarman's discerning curation, interesting thought patterns emerge. Even those dealing with death professionally discuss it with remarkable candor and intimacy. These people, many of whom walk with death gracefully every day, make the concept a little less frightening—and deeply human. (Oct.) [Page ]. Copyright 2016 PWxyz LLC

Review by Publisher Summary 1

A music editor at the Pulitzer Prize-winning Willamette Week draws on interviews with scientists, philosophers, artists and other disciplinary experts to consider the ubiquitous nature of death and how it gives relevance to life.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

In this illuminating collection of oral-history style interviews, Casey Jarman talks to a funeral industry watchdog about the (often shady) history of the death trade; he hears how songwriter David Bazan lost his faith while trying to hold on to his family; he learns about cartoonist Art Spiegelman using his college LSD trips to explain death to his children; and he gets to know his own grandparents, posthumously. These are stories of loss, rebuilding, wonder, and wild speculation featuring everyone from philosophers to former death row wardens and hospice volunteers. In these moving, enlightening, and often funny conversations, the end is only the beginning.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

In this illuminating collection of oral-history style interviews, Casey Jarman talks to a funeral industry watchdog about the (often shady) history of the death trade; he hears how songwriter David Bazan lost his faith while trying to hold on to his family; he learns about cartoonist Art Spiegelman using his college LSD trips to explain death to his children; and he gets to know his own grandparents, posthumously. These are stories of loss, rebuilding, wonder, and wild speculation featuring everyone from philosophers to former death row wardens and hospice volunteers. In these moving, enlightening, and often funny conversations, the end is only the beginning.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

Death is an inevitable reality that we must all face at some point. It can be difficult and perhaps painful to consider, but just as life can give great meaning to a person’s death, so too can death help enhance a person’s life. In this eye-opening collection of interviews, Jarman interviews cultural anthropologists, gravediggers, filmmakers, philosophers, ambulance drivers, and more for their stories, insights, and experiences.