Journalist and former Salon.com columnist Mary Roach didn't leave readers and critics cold with her first book, Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers. In fact, the comical-yet-scientific look at the "life" of the dead body throughout history earned her a spot in the Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers program.
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|Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Pick|
|Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers|
In this fascinating exposé, Roach examines the role of cadavers throughout history -- from their role in anatomy labs of medieval Europe to a human decay research facility at the University of Tennessee (a.k.a. the Body Farm). With a wry humor that belies the grimness of her subject, Roach sheds fascinating light on what happens to our bodies when we're through with them.
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|Advice for the Aspiring|
|We asked what advice Roach would give to aspiring writers. She suggests: "Follow your instincts. Do the kind of writing you love to do and do best. Stiff was an oddball book -- I mean, a funny book about cadavers? -- and I worried that it would be too unconventional. In the end, that's what has made it a success, I think."|
|The Latest From Roach||Favorite Writers and Reads|
|Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife|
In Stiff, Roach investigated what happened to the body after death. Now she's going for what happens to the soul, talking to mediums, reincarnation researchers, and cardiologists who install equipment intended to record the near-death experience.
|The Shipping News|
Roach told us that Annie Proulx's The Shipping News is a favorite book "for the incredible research, the originality and brilliance of the writing, and the wonderfully imagined and rendered characters." Read our interview with Roach to discover more about her favorite writers and reads, including:
|Photo by John Madere||