Death's Summer Coat: What the History of Death and Dying Can Tell Us About Life and Living
Brandy Schillace (Author)
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DescriptionA new conversation is starting on this most universal of topics. But to know where we are heading, we need to know where we have come from...Death is the one subject we will all confront; it touches our families, our homes, our hearts. And yet we have grown used to denying its existence, treating it as an enemy to be beaten back with medical advances. What led us to this point - what drove us to sanitize death and make it foreign and unfamiliar? In Death's Summer Coat Brandy Schillace explores our past to examine what it might mean for our future. From Victorian Britain to contemporary Cambodia, forgotten customs and modern-day rituals, we learn about the incredibly diverse - and sometimes just incredible - ways in which humans have dealt with mortality in different times and places. Today, as we begin to talk about mortality, there are difficult questions to face. What does it mean to have a 'good death'? What should a funeral do? As Schillace shows, talking about death and the rituals associated with it can help to provide answers. It also brings us closer together. And conversation and community are just as important for living as for dying.Some of the stories are strikingly unfamiliar; others are far more familiar than you might suppose. But all reveal a lot about the present - and about ourselves. It's time to meet the new (old) death. As seen reviewed in The Guardian in the article Smoke Gets in Your Eyes by Caitlin Doughty review - startling stories from the crematorium. If you are keen to learn more, you can listen to the interview with Brandy Schillace on Radio Gorgeous or the interview on BBC Radio 4 Thinking Allowed, both to be aired in May 2015.
Elliott & Thompson Limited
6 February 2015
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