American Afterlife Encounters in the Customs of Mourning

ISBN-10: 0820346004
ISBN-13: 9780820346007
Edition: 2014
Authors: Kate Sweeney
List price: $26.95 Buy it from $3.11
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Description: 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!"  More...

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Book details

List price: $26.95
Copyright year: 2014
Publisher: University of Georgia Press
Publication date: 3/15/2014
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 232
Size: 5.75" wide x 8.50" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.946

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.

Kate Sweeney, a 2010 Alice B. Medal winner, was the 2007 recipient of the Golden Crown Literary Society award for Debut Author for She Waits, the first in the Kate Ryan Mystery series. The series also includes A Nice Clean Murder, The Trouble with Murder, a 2008 Golden Crown Award Winner for Mystery, Who’ll Be Dead for Christmas? a 2009 Golden Crown Award winner for Mystery, and Of Course It’s Murder. Other novels include Away from the Dawn, Survive the Dawn, Residual Moon, a 2008 Golden Crown Award Winner for Speculative Fiction, The O’Malley Legacy, Winds of Heaven, and Sea of Grass.

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