Smoke Gets in Your Eyes And Other Lessons from the Crematory

Author: Caitlin Doughty
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 9780393245950
Release Date: 2014-09-15
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

“Morbid and illuminating” (Entertainment Weekly)—a young mortician goes behind the scenes of her curious profession. Most people want to avoid thinking about death, but Caitlin Doughty—a twenty-something with a degree in medieval history and a flair for the macabre—took a job at a crematory, turning morbid curiosity into her life’s work. Thrown into a profession of gallows humor and vivid characters (both living and very dead), Caitlin learned to navigate the secretive culture of those who care for the deceased. Smoke Gets in Your Eyes tells an unusual coming-of-age story full of bizarre encounters and unforgettable scenes. Caring for dead bodies of every color, shape, and affliction, Caitlin soon becomes an intrepid explorer in the world of the dead. She describes how she swept ashes from the machines (and sometimes onto her clothes) and reveals the strange history of cremation and undertaking, marveling at bizarre and wonderful funeral practices from different cultures. Her eye-opening, candid, and often hilarious story is like going on a journey with your bravest friend to the cemetery at midnight. She demystifies death, leading us behind the black curtain of her unique profession. And she answers questions you didn’t know you had: Can you catch a disease from a corpse? How many dead bodies can you fit in a Dodge van? What exactly does a flaming skull look like? Honest and heartfelt, self-deprecating and ironic, Caitlin's engaging style makes this otherwise taboo topic both approachable and engrossing. Now a licensed mortician with an alternative funeral practice, Caitlin argues that our fear of dying warps our culture and society, and she calls for better ways of dealing with death (and our dead).

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes

Author: Caitlin Doughty
Publisher: Canongate Books
ISBN: 9781782111047
Release Date: 2015-04-16
Genre: Social Science

THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER 'Unforgettable . . . a hilarious, poignant and impassioned plea to revolutionise our attitudes to death' Gavin Francis, Guardian From her first day at Westwind Cremation & Burial, twenty-three-year-old Caitlin Doughty threw herself into her curious new profession. Coming face-to-face with the very thing we go to great lengths to avoid thinking about she started to wonder about the lives of those she cremated and the mourning families they left behind, and found herself confounded by people's erratic reactions to death. Exploring our death rituals - and those of other cultures - she pleads the case for healthier attitudes around death and dying. Full of bizarre encounters, gallows humour and vivid characters (both living and very dead), this illuminating account makes this otherwise terrifying subject inviting and fascinating.

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes

Author:
Publisher:
ISBN: 1444826883
Release Date: 2016
Genre: Large type books

Most people go to great lengths to avoid thinking about death, but when Caitlin Doughty - a young woman with a degree in medieval history and a flair for the macabre - took a job at Westwind Cremation & Burial, her morbid curiosity turned into her life's work. Leading us behind the black curtain of her profession, Caitlin takes us into a world of vivid characters (both living and deceased) and bizarre details (exactly how a flaming skull looks) - and explores the funeral practices of historic and contemporary cultures, calling for better ways of dealing with death and our dead.

From Here to Eternity

Author: James Jones
Publisher: Dial Press
ISBN: 9780812984316
Release Date: 2012
Genre: Fiction

This edition includes an afterword by George hendrick, who discusses the novel's origin and eventual censorship at the hands of its first publisher. The original language has been restored.

Mortician Diaries

Author: June Knights Nadle
Publisher: New World Library
ISBN: 1577318579
Release Date: 2010-10-04
Genre: Self-Help

After 50 years in the funeral business, 80-year-old grandmother-undertaker June Knights Nadle has seen it all — at least all of what goes on before, during, and after life’s ultimate challenge. In Mortician Diaries, she combines equal doses of charm, humanity, humor, and reality to tell it like it is on this taboo subject. A kind of Prairie Home Companion set in a mortuary, the book features memorable stories of regret — “I wish I had kissed him on the morning he had the accident” — and renewal, as the lesson of facing life’s last great event is learned, or not. Some of the accounts here are funny, some sad. Some are haunting in their strangeness as they reveal the many ways in which people cope. Along the way, the reader is drawn into Nadle’s own life story as an unconventional woman who devoted herself to the dead and to those they left behind.

Down Among the Dead Men

Author: Michelle Williams
Publisher: Catapult
ISBN: 9781593763886
Release Date: 2010-08-10
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

Michelle Williams is young and attractive, with close family ties, a busy social life . . . and an unusual occupation. When she impulsively applies to be a mortuary technician and is offered the position, she has no idea that her decision to accept will be one of the most momentous of her life. “What I didnt realize then, she writes, “was that I was about to start one of the most amazing jobs you can do. To Williams, life in the mortuary is neither grim nor frightening. She introduces readers to a host of unique characters: pathologists (many eccentric, some utterly crazy), undertakers, and the man from the coroners office who sings to her every morning. No two days are alike, and while Williamss sensitivity to the dead never wavers, her tales from the crypt range from mischievous to downright shocking. Readers wont forget the fitness fanatic run over while doing nighttime push-ups on the road, the man so large he had to be carted in via refrigerated truck, or the guide dog who led his owner onto railway tracks—and left him there. The indomitable Williams never bats an eye, even as she is confronted—daily—with situations that would leave the rest of us speechless.

Mortuary Confidential

Author: Kenneth McKenzie
Publisher: Kensington Books
ISBN: 9780806531793
Release Date: 2010
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

From rookie mistakes and runaway corpses to screaming dead men and unusual requests, a collection of stories by funeral directors.

The Fall

Author: Diogo Mainardi
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 9781448163991
Release Date: 2014-05-08
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

'The Fall is a moving portrait of a relationship with a child and a place. It is a rare book: by turns heartbreaking, angry and lyrical' – Edmund de Waal, author of The Hare With Amber Eyes. Step 1: Tito has cerebral palsy. Step 2: I blame Tito’s cerebral palsy on Pietro Lombardo. Join Diogo Mainardi and his son Tito in a journey of 424 steps, starting with Tito’s disastrous birth in Venice, in Lombardo’s Renaissance hospital. It’s a journey full of joy and reflection, and an honest exploration of fatherhood. It’s a journey that follows the arc of Western culture, from Dante Alighieri, Rembrandt van Rijn and Claude Monet to Marcel Proust, Neil Young and Assassin’s Creed, to show how one boy’s fate has been shaped by history. Above all, it’s a celebration of love and courage, and of the hope and faith we place in our children.

The Chick and the Dead

Author: Carla Valentine
Publisher: Macmillan
ISBN: 9781250120694
Release Date: 2017-06-13
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

Carla Valentine works with the dead. After studying forensics, she assisted pathologists with post-mortems for years before becoming the curator of the world’s most famous pathology museum. When it comes to death, she truly is an expert, and in this book she shares that expertise. Using the most common post-mortem process as the backbone of the narrative, The Chick and the Dead takes the reader through the process of an autopsy while also describing the history and changing cultures of our relationship with the dead. The book is full of vivid insight into what happens to our bodies in the end. Each chapter considers an aspect of an autopsy alongside an aspect of Carla’s own life and work and touches on some of the more controversial aspects of our feelings towards death, including the relationship between sex and death and our attitudes toward human tissue collection. Starting with the first cut, we move from external examination into the body itself, discovering more about the heart, stomach and brain, and into dismembered and reconstructed bodies, at each stage taking a colorful detour into the question of what these things can teach us about the living. Join Carla on the journey from microscope-requesting nine-year-old to pathology educator and death engager at a Victorian museum (a journey made via around 5,000 autopsies) as she tells the story of exactly what it’s like to live a life immersed in death.

Good Mourning

Author: Elizabeth Meyer
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 9781476783659
Release Date: 2015-08-25
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

Elizabeth Meyer’s “sweet, touching, and funny” (Booklist) memoir reads as if “Carrie Bradshaw worked in a funeral home a la Six Feet Under” (Publishers Weekly, starred review). Good Mourning offers a behind-the-scenes look at a legendary funeral chapel on New York City’s Upper East Side—mixing big money, society drama, and the universal experience of grieving—told from the unique perspective of a fashionista turned funeral planner. Elizabeth Meyer stumbled upon a career in the midst of planning her own father’s funeral, which she turned into an upbeat party with Rolling Stones music, thousands of dollars worth of her mother’s favorite flowers, and a personalized eulogy. Starting as a receptionist, Meyer quickly found she had a knack for helping people cope with their grief, as well as creating fitting send-offs for some of the city’s most high-powered residents. Meyer has seen it all: two women who found out their deceased husband (yes, singular) was living a double life, a famous corpse with a missing brain, and funerals that cost more than most weddings. By turns illuminating, emotional, and darkly humorous, Good Mourning is a lesson in how the human heart grieves and grows—whether you’re wearing this season’s couture or drug-store flip-flops.

The American Way of Death Revisited

Author: Jessica Mitford
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 9780307809391
Release Date: 2011-11-23
Genre: Social Science

Only the scathing wit and searching intelligence of Jessica Mitford could turn an exposé of the American funeral industry into a book that is at once deadly serious and side-splittingly funny. When first published in 1963, this landmark of investigative journalism became a runaway bestseller and resulted in legislation to protect grieving families from the unscrupulous sales practices of those in "the dismal trade." Just before her death in 1996, Mitford thoroughly revised and updated her classic study. The American Way of Death Revisited confronts new trends, including the success of the profession's lobbyists in Washington, inflated cremation costs, the telemarketing of pay-in-advance graves, and the effects of monopolies in a death-care industry now dominated by multinational corporations. With its hard-nosed consumer activism and a satiric vision out of Evelyn Waugh's novel The Loved One, The American Way of Death Revisited will not fail to inform, delight, and disturb. "Brilliant--hilarious. . . . A must-read for anyone planning to throw a funeral in their lifetime."--New York Post "Witty and penetrating--it speaks the truth."--The Washington Post

Rest in Pieces

Author: Bess Lovejoy
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 9781451655018
Release Date: 2013-03-12
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

A “marvelously macabre” (Kirkus Reviews) history of the bizarre afterlives of corpses of the celebrated and notorious dead. For some of the most influential figures in history, death marked the start of a new adventure. The famous deceased have been stolen, burned, sold, pickled, frozen, stuffed, impersonated, and even filed away in a lawyer’s office. Their fingers, teeth, toes, arms, legs, skulls, hearts, lungs, and nether regions have embarked on voyages that crisscross the globe and stretch the imagination. Counterfeiters tried to steal Lincoln’s corpse. Einstein’s brain went on a cross-country road trip. And after Lord Horatio Nelson perished at Trafalgar, his sailors submerged him in brandy—which they drank. From Alexander the Great to Elvis Presley, and from Beethoven to Dorothy Parker, Rest in Pieces connects the lives of the famous dead to the hilarious and horrifying adventures of their corpses, and traces the evolution of cultural attitudes toward death.

Working Stiff

Author: Judy Melinek, MD
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 9781476727257
Release Date: 2014-08-12
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

A New York City forensic pathologist and her Harvard-educated husband describe her experiences as a student and doctor throughout the events of September 11, the subsequent anthrax bio-terrorism attack and the disastrous crash of Flight 587.

Stiff The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers

Author: Mary Roach
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 0393069192
Release Date: 2004-05-17
Genre: Science

"One of the funniest and most unusual books of the year....Gross, educational, and unexpectedly sidesplitting."—Entertainment Weekly Stiff is an oddly compelling, often hilarious exploration of the strange lives of our bodies postmortem. For two thousand years, cadavers—some willingly, some unwittingly—have been involved in science's boldest strides and weirdest undertakings. In this fascinating account, Mary Roach visits the good deeds of cadavers over the centuries and tells the engrossing story of our bodies when we are no longer with them.

Death and the Afterlife

Author: Clifford A. Pickover
Publisher: Sterling
ISBN: 1454914343
Release Date: 2015-10-06
Genre: Social Science

Throughout history, the mystery of death has captivated artists, scientists, philosophers, physicians, and theologians. This eerie chronology ventures to the borderlines of science and sheds light into the darkness, exploring such diverse topics as the Maya death gods, golems, sEances, zombies, and quantum immortality. With the turn of every page, readers will encounter beautiful artwork and unexpected insights about death and what may lie beyond.