The Undertaking Life Studies from the Dismal Trade

Author: Thomas Lynch
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 9780393073409
Release Date: 2010-03-01
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

A National Book Award Finalist: "One of the most life-affirming books I have read in a long time…brims with humanity, irreverence, and invigorating candor." —Tom Vanderbilt, The Nation "Every year I bury a couple hundred of my townspeople." So opens this singular and wise testimony. Like all poets, inspired by death, Thomas Lynch is, unlike others, also hired to bury the dead or to cremate them and to tend to their families in a small Michigan town where he serves as the funeral director. In the conduct of these duties he has kept his eyes open, his ear tuned to the indispensable vernaculars of love and grief. In these twelve pieces his is the voice of both witness and functionary. Here, Lynch, poet to the dying, names the hurts and whispers the condolences and shapes the questions posed by this familiar mystery. So here is homage to parents who have died and to children who shouldn't have. Here are golfers tripping over grave markers, gourmands and hypochondriacs, lovers and suicides. These are the lessons for life our mortality teaches us.

The Undertaking

Author: Thomas Lynch
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 0393041123
Release Date: 1997
Genre: Social Science

The poet and funeral director offers his observations on life, death, and the rituals of society

The Undertaking

Author: Thomas Lynch
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 9781446484968
Release Date: 2011-06-30
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

Like all poets, inspired by death, Lynch is, unlike others, also hired to bury the dead or cremate them and to tend to their families in a small Michigan town where he serves as the funeral director. In the conduct of these duties he has kept his eyes open, his ears tuned to the indispensable vernaculars of love and grief. In these twelve essays is the voice of both witness and functionary. Lynch stands between 'the living and the living who have dies' with the same outrage and amazement, straining for the same glimpse we all get of what mortality means to a vital species. So here is homage to parents who have died and to children who shouldn't have. Here are golfers tripping over grave-markers, gourmands and hypochondriacs, lovers and suicides. These are essays of rare elegance and grace, full of fierce compassion and rich in humour and humanity - lessons taught to the living by the dead.

Bodies in Motion and at Rest

Author: Thomas Lynch
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 0393321649
Release Date: 2001-06-01
Genre: Literary Collections

A Michigan poet, funeral director, and American Book Award-winning author of The Undertaking continues his quirky observations on the relations between the literary and mortuary arts, in a collection of illuminating essays and observations on life, death, and creative expression. Reprint.

The Good Funeral

Author: Thomas G. Long
Publisher: Westminster John Knox Press
ISBN: 9780664238537
Release Date: 2013
Genre: Religion

"Before long I began to understand that showing up, being there, helping in an otherwise helpless situation was made heroic by the same gravity I had sensed when I first stood in that embalming room as a boy„the presence of the dead made the presence of the living more meaningful somehow, as if it involved a basic and intuitively human duty to witness." „from Chapter 1, "How We Come to Be the Ones We Are" Two of the most authoritative voices on the funeral industry come together here in one volume to discuss the current state of the funeral. Through their different lenses„one as a preacher and one as a funeral director„Thomas G. Long and Thomas Lynch alternately discuss several challenges facing "the good funeral," including the commercial aspects that have led many to be suspicious of funeral directors, the sometimes tense relationship between pastors and funeral directors, the tendency of modern funerals to exclude the body from the service, and the rapid growth in cremation. The book features forewords from Patrick Lynch, President of the National Funeral Directors Association, and Barbara Brown Taylor, highly praised author and preacher. It is an essential resource for funeral directors, morticians, and pastors, and anyone else with an interest in current funeral practices.

Grimalkin And Other Poems

Author: Thomas Lynch
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 9781446484418
Release Date: 2011-06-30
Genre: Literary Criticism

The poems in Grimalkin - Thomas Lynch's first publication in Britain are all concerned, in one way or another, with achieving a balance in the face of gravity. In each poem, Lynch is looking for this equilibrium between equal and opposing forces: the gravities of sex and death, love and grief - all the things that make us breathless and horizontal, mortal and memorable. By means of a wry, mordant wit, telling observation and glorious poise, we are shown the strong tensions that make us human: the forces in our nature that create, replicate, restore, renew us; and those that kill us, constrict our lives, silence us. From spirited invective to meditations on morality, from lyrics of love and desire to a corrosive flyting to his ex-wife, these poems explore an extraordinary emotional range and technical facility but, more importantly, they reveal a compassionate, wise, and genial humanity.

The Undertaking

Author: Audrey Magee
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 9781443422987
Release Date: 2014-05-27
Genre: Fiction

Brutal yet heartbreaking, The Undertaking is an immensely powerful first novel set in Germany and the Soviet Union during World War II Desperate to escape the Eastern front, Peter Faber, an ordinary German soldier, marries Katharina Spinell, a woman he has never met; it is a marriage of convenience that promises "honeymoon" leave for him and a pension for her should he die on the front. With ten days' leave secured, Peter visits his new wife in Berlin, and both are surprised by the attraction that develops between them. When Peter returns to the horror of the front, it is only the dream of Katharina that sustains him as he approaches Stalingrad. Back in Berlin, Katharina, goaded on by her desperate and delusional parents, ruthlessly works her way into the Nazi party hierarchy, wedding herself, her young husband and their unborn child to the regime. But when the tide of war turns and Berlin falls, Peter and Katharina, ordinary people stained with their small share of an extraordinary guilt, find their simple dream of family increasingly hard to hold on to . . .

Booking Passage

Author: Thomas Lynch
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 9781446483893
Release Date: 2011-06-30
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

In February of 1970, Thomas Lynch, aged twenty-one, bought a one-way ticket to Ireland. He landed in the townland of Moveen, at the edge of the ocean in West Clare, outside the thatched cottage that his great-grandfather had left late in the nineteenth century with a one-way ticket to America. Tommy and Nora Lynch, Thomas Lynch's elderly, unmarried, distant cousins welcomed the young American 'home'. In the words of the author, 'it changed my life'. Booking Passage is part travelogue, part cultural study, part memoir and elegy, part guidebook for what Lynch calls 'fellow pilgrims' working their way through their own and the larger histories. It is a magnificent hymn of praise to Ireland.

Apparition Late Fictions

Author: Thomas Lynch
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 9781446483954
Release Date: 2011-06-30
Genre: Fiction

A Methodist minister gone astray, a trout bum gone fishing with his father's ashes, an artist overwhelmed by embodied beauty-these are among the uncommon heroes and exquisite narratives in this first collection of stories by the American poet and essayist, Thomas Lynch. Set in Michigan's north woods, Ohio's interior, on islands, in casinos and distant cities, these fictions are linked by the gone and not forgotten: former spouses, dead parents, and missing children. In pursuit of love and its redemptions, Lynch's characters are haunted by memory, dogged by desire, made radiant by romance and its denouements. With the elegant prose known to the readers of his earlier work, Lynch masterfully creates a world where mirage and apparition are commonplace, where people searching for safe harbour, reconnection and old comforts find them both near at hand and oddly out of reach.

Handbook for Mortals

Author: Joanne Lynn, MD
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199744565
Release Date: 2011-06-16
Genre: Family & Relationships

Rev. ed. of: Handbook for mortals / Joanne Lynn, Joan Harrold, and the Center to Improve Care of the Dying, George Washington University. 1999.

The Big Rich

Author: Bryan Burrough
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 1594201994
Release Date: 2009
Genre: History

Recounts how Texas oil transformed wealth and power in America through the stories of the state's four most influential oil families, tracing how they rose from modest backgrounds, shaped the government, and bankrolled the rise of modern conservatism.

The Final Bath

Author: Amber Lenore Winckler
Publisher:
ISBN: 0984273603
Release Date: 2009-10-01
Genre: Fiction

The Final Bath is a story of those who chose to orchestrate by hand the last rite of passage for the rest of us...the last hands to touch us. Young optimistic Louise is a recent graduate of Mortuary Science who begins her journey into a required two-year Embalmer's Apprenticeship. Confident in her education in caring for the dead, Louise struggles to understand, life, love, tragedy, and the common bond that attracts workers to the profession. Unaware at first that the start of her professional life will also coincide with her path toward a spiritual awakening, Louise begins to understand the incredible cycle of life that ends with The Final Bath.

Seize the Day

Author: Marie de Hennezel
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
ISBN: 9780230765665
Release Date: 2012-02-02
Genre: Social Science

In this remarkable book psychologist Marie de Hennezel draws upon her personal experience of working with the terminally ill in a palliative care unit in Paris. Her encounters with people at the end of their life gives her a unique perspective on what life and death really mean, and her ultimate message, shared through the stories she recounts in this book, is one of celebrating the power and tenacity of the human spirit. She encourages us to embrace moments of joy and the small pleasures of life and to 'seize the day' at every opportunity. From the author of the Top Ten bestseller The Warmth of the Heart Prevents Your Body from Rusting comes this eloquent and inspirational work which will move everyone who reads it. 'Inspirational ... written with compassion and sympathy, the book eschews denial, transforming the unpalatable into something humane' Independent

The Thing About Life Is That One Day You ll Be Dead

Author: David Shields
Publisher: Penguin UK
ISBN: 9780141961651
Release Date: 2011-03-03
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

Mesmerized and somewhat unnerved by his 97-year-old father's vitality and optimism, David Shields undertakes an original investigation of our flesh-and-blood existence, our mortal being. Weaving together personal anecdote, biological fact, philosophical doubt, cultural criticism, and the wisdom of an eclectic range of writers and thinkers - from Lucretius to Woody Allen - Shields expertly renders both a hilarious family portrait and a truly resonant meditation on mortality.

Death to Dust

Author: Kenneth V. Iserson
Publisher: Galen PressLtd
ISBN: 1883620228
Release Date: 2001
Genre: Social Science

In our culture, we rarely speak about death -- partly because it is seen as a sort of pornography, shrouded in indecency and immersed in taboos; and partly because we know so little about it. Yet nearly everyone at some point has questions about what happens after death. At long last, here is a book to answer many of those questions: What physical changes occur to a dead body?