A young widow who lusts, a daughter who aches, a shopaholic who hungers...The Joy of Funerals is a riveting collection that explores the lives of nine young women, each willing to take drastic measures to fill the voids created by longing and loneliness. The first eight face death differently, while the ninth woman Nina ties them all together by attending funerals in her search to connect with others.
Written with raw wit, mordant humor and a uniquely penetrating voice, Strauss turns the spotlight on loss and grief. In the vein of Six Feet Under, this is a provocative look into the inner world of those left behind, and those still holding on.
"The desire for human connection runs throughout Alix Strauss's dark and spirited novel, The Joy of Funerals." - Vanity Fair
|Publisher:||St. Martin's Press|
|Edition description:||First Edition|
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.62(d)|
About the Author
Alix Strauss is a lifestyle trend writer whose articles have appeared in The New York Times and many other periodicals. The Joy of Funerals is her first novel. She lives in New York City.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Heartbreaking and excellent.
You might think that this would be a depressing book, being about death and funerals, but The Joy of Funerals is a suprisingly lively book! The characters are full formed and interesting, the pace of the stories and the novella is fast and funny and the writing is the kind you expect from an author maybe twice Strauss's age! I enjoyed it and reccomend it highly for summer reading or anytime.
¿a widow who lusts....a daughter who aches...a lover who obsesses...a shopaholic who hungers ¿a dare-devil who desires ¿a single woman who longs¿an ¿ an artist who craves ¿ and a funeral-junkie who needs. These are the nine women who inhabit THE JOY OF FUNERALS. Throughout this collection, these characters explore the basic need for human connection while seeking to understand themselves better. It is the `where do I belong¿ and the `how do I fit in¿ that I am trying to explore through these sad, bright and amazingly strong women. In Recovering Larry, a woman mourns for her dead husband by having sex with grieving men she finds at the cemetery. In Shrinking Away, a woman pays a daring Shiva call on her psychiatrist-turned-lover¿s widow. Still Life peers into the life of a pregnant artist who wishes to paint herself out of a bad marriage and into a prettier world while Post-Dated introduces you to a single woman who wonders if her recently deceased date was perhaps the perfect man. Read independently, these stories stand on their own. When read as a collection, they are anchored together by the novella, The Joy of Funerals, which follows the life of Nina, a single thirty-something woman who attends the funerals of the deceased characters in the previous stories. I have always been fascinated with death. The different ways people react at funerals and how they choose to grieve captivates me. The dynamics, the unspoken words, the body language, everything that is said, and that which is not, is riveting. Family dynamics also play a major role in my work. The way we long for connection to each other, the needs we have that go unfilled, the people who define us and what we are without them, are the themes that surround the stories. I hope you will find these women and their tales engaging, interesting and thought provoking. Mostly, I hope these characters stay with you long after you¿ve read THE JOY OFFUNERALS. Many thanks. Alix Strauss