Download American Afterlife: Encounters in the Customs of Mourning by Kate Sweeney PDF

By Kate Sweeney

Someone dies. What occurs next?

One kin inters their matriarch’s ashes at the flooring of the sea. one other holds a memorial weenie roast every year at a greenburial cemetery. An 1898 advert for embalming fluid can provide, “You could make mummies with it!” whereas a number one modern burial vault is touted as impervious to the weather. A grieving mom, one hundred fifty years in the past, may spend her days tending a backyard at her daughter’s grave. at the present time, she could have a tendency the roadside memorial she erected on the spot her daughter used to be killed. One mom wears a locket containing her daughter’s hair; the opposite, a necklace containing her ashes.

What occurs after anyone dies is dependent upon our own tales and on the place these tales fall in a bigger tale—that of dying in the US. It’s a strong story that we frequently retain hidden from our daily lives till we need to face it.

American Afterlife through Kate Sweeney unearths this global via a collective portrait of usa citizens prior and current who locate themselves individually concerned with dying: a klatch of obit writers within the barren region, a funeral voyage at the Atlantic, a fourth-generation funeral director—even a midwestern museum that takes us again in time to satisfy our deathobsessed Victorian progenitors. every one tale illuminates information in one other until eventually anything greater is printed: a panorama that feels instantly unusual and accepted, one that’s by means of turns extraordinary, tragic, poignant, and occasionally even funny.

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