Exit Laughing: How Humor Takes the Sting Out of Death [NOOK Book]


There’s nothing funny about dying … or is there? Malachy McCourt, Jacquelyn Mitchard, and 22 more share hilarious and moving stories of confronting death. Exit Laughing makes death more approachable as it reveals the funny side of “passing on.” As painful as it is to lose a loved one, Exit Laughing shows us that in times of grief, humor can help us with coping and even healing. 
Best-selling author Amy Ferris explains how her ...
See more details below
Exit Laughing: How Humor Takes the Sting Out of Death

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
BN.com price
(Save 37%)$15.95 List Price


There’s nothing funny about dying … or is there? Malachy McCourt, Jacquelyn Mitchard, and 22 more share hilarious and moving stories of confronting death. Exit Laughing makes death more approachable as it reveals the funny side of “passing on.” As painful as it is to lose a loved one, Exit Laughing shows us that in times of grief, humor can help us with coping and even healing. 
Best-selling author Amy Ferris explains how her mother’s dementia led to a permanent ban from an airline. Ellen Sussman writes of flying her mother's body home and watching the burial wardrobe spill out on the baggage carousel. Broadway and television actor Richard McKenzie shares the riotous story of a funeral procession led by a lost hearse. Bonnie Garvin even manages to find a heavy dose of dark humor in her parents’ three unsuccessful attempts at a double suicide. These stories, along with tales from Joshua Braff, Barbara Graham, Dianne Rinehart, and more, constitute a book whose purpose is to remind readers that when dealing with illness, aging, and dying, there is an important place for laugh-out-loud humor.

From the Trade Paperback edition.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Follow the adventures of a funeral party led astray by a lost hearse, or picture the kazoo being played at Jessica Mitford’s funeral. Some of the selections will remind readers of similar encounters with grief, and of the absurd events that interrupt the depressing times that force one to laugh in spite of the sorrow."
San Francisco Book Review

"Death happens, and the writers in Exit Laughing show that humor can serve as an acceptable and beneficial means to mend broken hearts. Laughter, Zackheim writes in her introduction, 'can open the door to emotions shared, and perhaps through this sharing we can not only process the reality of death but mend the complex and often difficult relationships we share with the person who is dying.'"
Shelf Awareness

"Exit Laughing puts a light twist on a serious topic: death."
J Weekly

Exit Laughing makes death more approachable as it reveals the funny side of ‘passing on.’”
—Literary Mama

“The stories in Exit Laughing all address a subject that many of us have difficulty discussing: death and its inevitability, its circumstances, its sadness and all the other emotions that go along with it. But the dominant theme running throughout this anthology, and hence the title, is humor. It is so welcome. Each of the authors in Victoria Zackheim's collection shares personal anecdotes and stories: fond (and sometimes not so fond) recollections all tinged with the love, feelings, and humor enjoyed with the subjects. Ms. Zackheim says in her introduction that so many of us use humor to ease pain; it can play an important role in helping us talk about and accept the death of a loved one. This anthology clearly underscores that concept.”
—Story Circle Book Reviews

“This comforting book makes the reader feel as if she has been invited to a dinner party to share not only good food, but personal stories about how humor appeared at times of death of a loved one.”
—Transitional Keys

“As we all know, laughter is good therapy, just as writing about death is good grief work. Exit Laughing: How Humor Takes the Sting Out of Death is funny and therapeutic. It’s a useful book for mourners, for therapists, and for anyone who is worried about the impending death of a loved one.”
PsycCritiques, American Psychological Association

“From beloved husbands to difficult mothers and more, this moving and often fiercely funny collection illuminates with grace, humor, and a few belly laughs the way someone’s death can change our lives.”
—Caroline Leavitt, New York Times best-selling author of Pictures of You
“In a culture where the discussion of death is basically taboo, the authors in Exit Laughing relate their stories with candor, compassion, love, and yes, humor. A perfect mix of gravitas and levity to the subject nobody wants to talk about: mortality. As funny and poignant as Harold and Maude, Exit Laughing makes it clear that even the Grim Reaper will put on a monkey face and maybe even giggle, when tickled.”
—Sara Pritchard, author of Crackpots and Help Wanted: Female

“I love this anthology! Absorbing, poignantly moving, but most of all, profoundly life-affirming.”—Sandra Gulland, best-selling author of Mistress of the Sun and The Josephine B. Trilogy

“This gem of an anthology about what we fear, avoid, would rather not mention, let alone read about—death—is the funniest book I’ve read in years. Exit Laughing is a bold, outrageous, never sanctimonious, death-defying collection that looks straight in the eye of the inevitable while making you laugh real tears.”
—Beverly Donofrio, author of Riding in Cars with Boys and Looking for Mary

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781583944080
  • Publisher: North Atlantic Books
  • Publication date: 5/8/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 323,588
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Victoria Zackheim
Victoria Zackheim is author of The Bone Weaver, a novel, and the editor of five anthologies: The Other Woman, which was on the national bestseller list in Canada for several weeks, For Keeps, The Face in the Mirror, and He Said What?. Her play based on five essays from The Other Woman will begin a six-week theater run in summer 2012. Zackheim teaches Personal Essay in the UCLA Extension Writers' Program and is a frequent speaker at writers' conferences, non-profit educational and philanthropic organizations, and book fairs. A 2010 San Francisco Library Laureate, she is actively involved in social media including Facebook, Goodreads, Redroom, Shewrites, and the AARP Writers Forum. A graduate of UCLA (BA) and San Francisco State University (MA), she lives in San Francisco.
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Introduction xi

Another Expiration Date Malachy McCourt 1

The Last Laugh Jacquelyn Mitchard 7

Up Here Amy Ferris 13

Kitty... Mimi Karen Quinn 21

A Cold Awakening Dianne Rinehart 31

Baby Blues Jenny Rough 47

Cleavon Victorious Michael Tucker 59

Into The Light Barbara Lodge 65

Caraway Seed Cake Carrie Kabak 81

Death and Denial Barbara Abercrombie 97

Suburban Animation Joshua Braf 109

Measuring Grief Benita Garvin 117

Decca's Potty Kathi Kamen Goldmark 137

My Pet Dead Mole Zoe Fitzgerald Carter 145

Have Fun at The Funeral, Girls Sam Barry 157

Death With Dignity Sherry Glaser-Love 165

My Grandfather's Chicken Soup Aviva Layton 175

She Laughed Until She Died Victoria Zackheim 187

Tragedy Plus Time Christine Kehl O'Hagan 199

I Could Die Laughing Leon Whiteson 213

The Belle of Pittsburgh Barbara Graham 225

Burial Ground Richard Mckenzie 237

Virgo Starhawk 249

Fly With Me Ellen Sussman 271

Acknowledgments 275

About The Contributors 277

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)