You probably won't have heard of any of the people eulogized in Obit, but they will remind you of the variety of humans on earth and the absolute certainty that no matter how powerful a personality, eventually the body goes, and that what remains stays not only in people's hearts, but in their stories. -Chicago Sun-Times
Obit: Inspiring Stories of Ordinary People who Led Extraordinary Livesby Jim Sheeler
Most of the people in this book will die before the fifth paragraph. You probably haven't heard of any of them. That doesn't mean it's a book about nobodies. That doesn't mean it is a book about death. The obituaries collected here are at times humorous, ("The Woman Who Outlived Her Tombstone") and at times heartbreaking ("Love Stories from… See more details below
Most of the people in this book will die before the fifth paragraph. You probably haven't heard of any of them. That doesn't mean it's a book about nobodies. That doesn't mean it is a book about death. The obituaries collected here are at times humorous, ("The Woman Who Outlived Her Tombstone") and at times heartbreaking ("Love Stories from a Plane Crash"). They shine a light into forgotten places ("How to Build a Mountain") and forgotten lives ("TGhe shortest Obituary on the Page"). Inside are countless lessons of life, taught by people we all pass on the street every day. It's not too late to meet them.
Sometimes Sheeler's prose is so good that it transcends the individual's obituary to speak about mortality in general. Consider this passage: "Agate, population 70, is one of those towns that people describe as 'blink and you'll miss it.' Lois A. Engel loved living in the blink."
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Meet the Author
Jim Sheeler began writing obituaries in 1996 for the Boulder Planet, a community newspaper. He also wrote an obituary feature for the Sunday Denver Post and later worked as a reporter for the Rocky Mountain News. In 2006, he won the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing for a story that chronicled a year with US Marines casualty notification officers. He expanded that research into his second book, Final Salute (Penguin), which was a finalist for the 2008 National Book Award in nonfiction. He is the Shirley Wormser Professor of Journalism and Media Writing at Case Western Reserve in Cleveland, Ohio. Previously he was a Scholar in Residence at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He has spoken internationally at journalism conferences and his freelance writing has been published in outlets ranging from The Washington Post Magazine to Paris Match. He received a BA in Journalism from Colorado State University and he earned his MA in Journalism at the University of Colorado. He lives in Ohio with his wife and son.
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