From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death

From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death


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The best-selling author of Smoke Gets in Your Eyes expands our sense of what it means to treat the dead with “dignity.”
Fascinated by our pervasive terror of dead bodies, mortician Caitlin Doughty set out to discover how other cultures care for their dead. In rural Indonesia, she observes a man clean and dress his grandfather’s mummified body. Grandpa’s mummy has lived in the family home for two years, where the family has maintained a warm and respectful relationship. She meets Bolivian natitas (cigarette- smoking, wish- granting human skulls), and introduces us to a Japanese kotsuage, in which relatives use chopsticks to pluck their loved- ones’ bones from cremation ashes. With curiosity and morbid humor, Doughty encounters vividly decomposed bodies and participates in compelling, powerful death practices almost entirely unknown in America. Featuring Gorey-esque illustrations by artist Landis Blair, From Here to Eternity introduces death-care innovators researching green burial and body composting, explores new spaces for mourning— including a glowing- Buddha columbarium in Japan and America’s only open-air pyre— and reveals unexpected new possibilities for our own death rituals.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393249897
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 10/03/2017
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 88,044
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Mortician Caitlin Doughty—host and creator of “Ask a Mortician”
and the New York Times best-selling author of Smoke
Gets in Your Eyes—founded the death acceptance collective The Order of the Good Death and co-founded Death Salon.
She lives in Los Angeles, where she runs her nonprofit funeral home, Undertaking LA.

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From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book takes a real, unflinching look at death rituals around the world through the lens of an American death professional who is unsatisfied with how the American death industry operates and the funeral options available in the US. Pull back the veil of pretense, superstition, and cultural norms and find out how others handle death and how their rituals give them the space they need to grieve.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A thought-provoking treatise on the world's rituals surrounding death and the insulation of Americans from this universal condition.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
We all have our own beliefs and denials about death. Caitlin helps you face those denials, see what others see about death and learn to see it as part of life, not the end. I pray that we can further the "green" death practice and re-learn how to care for our loved ones!
TenaMouse More than 1 year ago
I won this in a GOODREADS giveaway. Gorgeous cover with drawings speckled throughout the book. This is a wonderful, humorous, but respectful expose of how death is treated in various cultures.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I first discovered Caitlin Doughty through her YouTube Ask a Mortician series. I found her quite entertaining and sought out her book to see what else she can bring to the table. From Here to Eternity is an excellent and thoughtful read that contemplates what it means to mourn the dead and its significance across several different cultures, but also reads as part travel diary as Doughty outlines her travels to the far corners of the world. Doughty does a great job in writing respectfully about the subject matter but also injecting it with occasional humor (though she does tend to go overboard with parenthetical asides). It was hard for me to put this book down, and the gorgeous but macabre illustrations complemented the engaging content perfectly.
KendraHR More than 1 year ago
A very interesting read, and nicely detailed. I would suggest this book to anyone that's interested in the macabre, or has a fear of death.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Aside from all the feminist opinions that could have been left out, this was a great read. Very neat to read about death customs from around the world.