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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review from Discover Great New Writers
A self-described practitioner of "careful newspaper reading," Johnson enjoys perusing the day's obituaries, cleansing her hands of newsprint and "[thinking] about universal harmonies." Like the fact that both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson died on July 4, 1826, 50 years after the Declaration of Independence was signed.
Johnson revels in such coincidences and in the fact that so many celebrities -- Rock Hudson, for instance -- "[slip] below the radar of appreciation until [their] appearance on the obituary page" gives their popularity a boost. (They say there's no such thing as bad publicity!)
Johnson traded in her job as a journalist interviewing celebrities (with stints at Life, Esquire, Redbook, and Outside magazines) for one in a darkened room, writing their obituaries. And she is a writer completely enthralled by her work, the perfect professional to introduce the casual obituary reader to the ins and outs of the genre, like the all-important placement of "the comma." An amusing, often poignant, and continually amazing book, Johnson's first effort is dead on. (Summer 2006 Selection)