Having made a name for herself penning memorable obituaries for the likes of Katharine Hepburn, Princess Diana, Jackie Onassis, and Johnny Cash for Life and other magazines, Marilyn Johnson takes a fascinating look back at the experience in The Dead Beat: Lost Souls, Lucky Stiffs, and the Perverse Pleasures of Obituaries.
Marilyn Johnson wrote The Dead Beat: Lost Souls, Lucky Stiffs, and the Perverse Pleasures of Obituaries after writing obituaries for Katharine Hepburn, Princess Diana, Jackie Onassis, Johnny Cash, Bob Hope, and Marlon Brando for Life and other magazines. She has been a staff writer for Life and an editor for Esquire. Her articles and poetry have appeared in many publications. She lives in Briarcliff, New York, and is working on a book about librarians and archivists in the digital age.
Biography courtesy of the author's official web site.
Good To Know
Some fun and fascinating outtakes from our interview with Johnson:
"For several years, I wrote obituaries in advance for ancient or accident-prone celebrities. I seemed to have the magic touch: Even those who looked like skeletons recovered miraculously."
"I used to love reading trashy fiction, but after I worked for Esquire magazine, screening their fiction submissions, I found I'd lost my taste for it. You have to pay me to read bad writing now."