Suspended Animation: Six Essays on the Preservation of Bodily Parts by Frank Gonzalez-Crussi
“Six beautifully wrought meditations on the art of embalming and related matters…. Dr. Gonzalez–Crussi’s tone is measured, grave, and curiously formal … [with] a mordant sense of humor … and [a] courtliness and peculiar charm of his rococo style … muscular dandyism as well as his sly and faintly risqué humor….”
“[He] is learned, compassionate, genuinely witty and, at the most unexpected moments, strangely moving…. His learning, his diligence, his lively curiosity, together make a formidable lens that he brings to bear upon the enigma of what we are and how we cease to be…”
“[He] has delivered a missive that, though the envelope may give off a whiff of formalin, is in its essence a love letter to life, in all its strangeness, beauty, and mystery.” —John Banville, The New York Times Book Review
“More graceful, erudite, and mind–expanding essays from Gonzalez–Crussi, this time accompanied by haunting, beautiful color photographs of skeletons, skulls, medical specimens, and anatomical models. In writing that smoothly integrates medical science, history, philosophy, literature, and the arts, Gonzalez–Crussi ponders the human condition…. The opening of a Gonzalez–Crussi essay gives few hints as to where it may wander, but the journey is always rewarding.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Gonzalez–Crussi … weaves and bobs around monstrosity and death like a python about its victim—and he is nearly as mesmerizing.” —Publishers Weekly
Rosamond Purcell, the acclaimed author and photographer of the recently published Special Cases and Swift As A Shadow, has lent her unique photographs to books by Stephen Jay Gould and F. Gonzalez-Crussi. A regular contributor to The Sciences, her photographs have also appeared in Ms., Smithsonian, The Atlantic Monthly, Harvard Magazine, Omni, and many international publications. She lives in Massachusetts.