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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
The Quick and the Dead
According to Thomas Lynch, we have funerals "not because it matters to the dead, but because it matters to the living." As author, poet, essayist, and possibly the most celebrated funeral director in America, Thomas Lynch should know. It is his job not only to care for the dead but also (and perhaps more dauntingly) to console and accompany the survivors, those who are left to grieve. His meditations on how we regard life and death have earned him a unique place in American letters. A finalist for the National Book Award for The Undertaking, Lynch now gives us Bodies in Motion and at Rest, a new exploration into what he calls the "literary and mortuary arts."
Hailed by The New York Times as "a cross between Garrison Keillor and William Butler Yeats," Lynch gives us glimpses of ordinary people and the ways they approach their own mortality. In stories about his close friends, and in discussions of sex and death, love and divorce, language and religion, commercial and spiritual consumerism, Lynch guides his readers effortlessly from the womb to the tomb with an inviting brand of wit and good humor, and with more than a few characteristic nods to the great poetry and literature of the ages.
Bodies in Motion and at Rest proves Thomas Lynch to be an essential author in a time when contemporary life encumbers us with constant reminders of change and choice, of millennial endings and beginnings. As it steers us through that existential midway between "Something and Nothingness," this indispensablebookoffers an artful and hopeful reflection on time and its treasures, on love and its power, and on birth, death, and, most importantly, what comes in between.