THE UNDERTAKING LIFE STUDIES FROM THE DISMAL TRADE

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The Undertaking Life Studies From The Dismal Trade

Author : Thomas Lynch
ISBN : 9780393073409
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 42.61 MB
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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.
Category: Biography & Autobiography

The Undertaking

Author : Thomas Lynch
ISBN : 0393041123
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 83.76 MB
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The poet and funeral director offers his observations on life, death, and the rituals of society
Category: Social Science

The Undertaking

Author : Thomas Lynch
ISBN : 9781446484968
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 51.73 MB
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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.
Category: Biography & Autobiography

Bodies In Motion And At Rest

Author : Thomas Lynch
ISBN : 0393321649
Genre : Literary Collections
File Size : 53.58 MB
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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.
Category: Literary Collections

Still Life In Milford

Author : Thomas Lynch
ISBN : 9781446483916
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 54.35 MB
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In Still Life in Milford, Lynch casts the cold eye we are told to on life and death, history and memory, the local and the larger geographics. Examining the dynamics of faith, remembrance, and intimate conduct, these poems are informed by end times, tribulations and visions that make up the ordinary enterprise of daily life. Colloquy and narrative, soliloquy and tribute, Still Life in Milford engages the full register of the poet's voices as elegist, eulogist, obituarist, straight man and passer-by to achieve a difficult and inimitable harmony.
Category: Literary Criticism

The Good Funeral

Author : Thomas G. Long
ISBN : 9780664238537
Genre : Religion
File Size : 48.48 MB
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"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.
Category: Religion

Walking Papers

Author : Thomas Lynch
ISBN : 9781446483923
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 68.8 MB
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If life is pilgrimage, Walking Papers are the pages - the notes on the journey, news of the world, letters of introduction and dismissal - found in one's breast-pocket amongst one's effects. And Thomas Lynch, the celebrated poet-undertaker is our guide through a world that's painfully aware of its own mortality; as he says in the powerfully moving title poem: 'Listen - /something's going to get you in the end./The numbers are fairly convincing on this,/hovering, as they do, around a hundred/percent. We die. And more's the pity.' In this, his fourth collection of poems - his first in the new century - Lynch attends to the flora and fauna and fellow pilgrims: dead poets and living masters, a former president and his factotums, a sin-eater and inseminator. Faux-bardic and mock-epic, deft at lament and lampoon, accusation and dispensation, fete and feint, Lynch's poems are powerful medicines, tonics for the long haul and home-going.
Category: Literary Criticism

Grimalkin And Other Poems

Author : Thomas Lynch
ISBN : 9781446484418
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 63.36 MB
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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.
Category: Literary Criticism

American Afterlife

Author : Kate Sweeney
ISBN : 9780820346892
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 32.3 MB
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Someone dies. What happens next? One family inters their matriarch's ashes on the floor of the ocean. Another holds a memorial weenie roast each year at a greenburial cemetery. An 1898 ad for embalming fluid promises, “You can make mummies with it!” while a leading contemporary burial vault is touted as impervious to the elements. A grieving mother, 150 years ago, might spend her days tending a garden at her daughter's grave. Today, she might tend the roadside memorial she erected at the spot her daughter was killed. One mother wears a locket containing her daughter's hair; the other, a necklace containing her ashes. What happens after someone dies depends on our personal stories and on where those stories fall in a larger tale—that of death in America. It's a powerful tale that we usually keep hidden from our everyday lives until we have to face it. American Afterlife by Kate Sweeney reveals this world through a collective portrait of Americans past and present who find themselves personally involved with death: a klatch of obit writers in the desert, a funeral voyage on the Atlantic, a fourth-generation funeral director—even a midwestern museum that takes us back in time to meet our deathobsessed Victorian progenitors. Each story illuminates details in another until something larger is revealed: a landscape that feels at once strange and familiar, one that's by turns odd, tragic, poignant, and sometimes even funny.
Category: Social Science

A Decade Of Hope

Author : Dennis Smith
ISBN : 9781101543511
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 71.68 MB
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On the tenth anniversary of 9/11, a portrait of tragedy, survival, and healing from the author of The New York Times bestseller Report from Ground Zero. This year marks the tenth anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, an occasion that is sure to be observed around the world. But among the memorials, political speeches, and news editorials, the most pressing consideration- and often the most overlooked-is the lives and well-being of the 9/11 first responders, their families, and the victims' families over the past decade. Dennis Smith, a former firefighter and the author of the bestselling Report from Ground Zero, addresses this important topic in a series of interviews with the heroes and families of those most affected by the tragedy either through feats of bravery in the rescue efforts or heroic bearing up in the face of unimaginable loss. Smith provides an intimate look at a terrible moment in history and its challenging and difficult aftermath, allowing these survivors to share their stories of loss, endurance, and resilience in their own words. A Decade of Hope is an honest and vitally important look at a decade in the lives of those for whom a national tragedy was a devastatingly personal ordeal.
Category: Biography & Autobiography