"With sensitivity and insight, Cann deftly charts a change in American mourning practices related to changing Western views of death as a privatized, bodiless experience. She brilliantly explains the rise of roadside memorials, car decals, and body tattoos as recent manifestations of first, a public seeking to mourn in a society that emphasizes life and hides death, and second, the removal of the body from the experience of death." Simon Bronner, Distinguished University Professor of American Studies and Folklore and director of the American Studies doctoral program at Pennsylvania State University, Harrisburg
"Cann argues that the way we grieve and memorialize the dead has shifted inrecent years. She carefully takes the reader on a journey that reveals the metamorphosis of memorialization and ways of grieving that are more private today, yet at the same time are brought out into the public sphere in creative ways via cyberspace, tattoos, t-shirts, bodiless memorials, and automobile decals." George Dickinson, author of Understanding Dying, Death and Bereavement
"Cann's book has added new areas of exploration and significant comparative observations across cultures, including practices in Asia, Latin America, and Muslim countries. Her expertise in religious studies brings unique and helpful notations throughout the book regarding both traditional and contemporary ways that religious practices inform and sustain good grief." Omega Journal of Death and Dying
" Virtual Afterlives introduces its readers to examples of innovative mourning practices that are embedded in ordinary lives and communities it is essentially an engaging précis of grassroots memorialization.
The analysis provided is sensitive, rich and unfolds with careful context and detail.
Not only does this work identify and describe trends in popular memorialization, it also uses evidence from current policy and draws on historical debates in the field to argue that these practices are a response to the disappearance of death from contemporary life. Traces of death, be they the physical dead body or manifestations of grief, have according to Cann, been banished from our familiar, daily lives. Therefore, the examples of popular memorialization the book explores have a purpose which is twofold; they are a means to represent the dead in the day-to-day space in which we live, and they also enable individuals who are experiencing loss to be identified as someone who is bereaved." Julie Ellis, Mortality
"Cann's deep understanding of the process of grieving, both personal and academic, is reflected throughout her book. She flawlessly integrates the discourse of mourning from Facebook posts to tombstones to eulogies exploring the landscape of bereavement with an eye for material culture." Western Folklore