A 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.
Publisher: Elliott & Thompson Limited
Number of pages: 256
Dimensions: 216 x 135 x 25 mm
"Vivid, scholarly, enthralling and surprisingly touching, Death's Summer Coat is skilfully stitched together." -- Rupert Callender, editor of The Natural Death Handbook "A lively, panoramic view of our approach to death and dying that asks essential questions, and offers important insights, into the inevitable." -- Bess Lovejoy, author of Rest in Pieces "At once scholarly but also infused with personal narrative, Death's Summer Coat has something to offer everyone." - - Paul Koudounaris, author of Heavenly Bodies and The Empire of Death "A lovely book ... inspired by the Death Cafe movement" -- Lis Horwich, DeathCafe.com "Her academic acumen and historical analysis is plain for every reader to see, but so is her warm humanity. [...] The mixture of the analytical and the personal is part of what makes the book so readable." -- Richard Littledale, The Preacher's Blog; "The book ends as it began with an epilogue that is deeply personal and by the end of the work Schillace does feel a like someone you might have chatted with at a death-positive event. With its high readability factor, I am sure Death's Summer Coat will prove highly popular with Death Salon and Death cafe attendees." -- Dr. Christina Welch, Centre for Medical Humanities, Durham University blog; "This is a delightful book. Beautifully written, and so crammed with fascinating insights that after I'd finished it I went through it again with my highlighter pen, in an attempt not to forget any of it ... Throughout, Brandy Schillace covers the heaviest of subjects with the lightest touch." -- Dr Katherine Sleeman, Clinical Lecturer, Cicely Saunders Institute, King's College London