The Undertaking: Life Studies from the Dismal Trade

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9780140276237: The Undertaking: Life Studies from the Dismal Trade

'Every Year I Bury a Couple Hundred of My Townspeople.' So opens the singular testimony of the poet Thomas Lynch. Like all poets, inspired by death, Lynch is, unlike others, also hired to bury the dead or to cremate them and to tend to their families in a small Michigan town where he serves as the funeral director. In the conduct of these duties he has kept his eyes open, his ears tuned to the indispensable vernaculars of love and grief. Here is the voice of both witness and functionary. Lynch stands between 'the living and the living who have died' with outrage and amazement, awe and calm, straining for the brief glimpse we all get of what mortality means to a vital species.

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Here is the voice of both witness and functionary. Lynch stands between "the living and the living who have died" with outrage and amazement, awe and calm, straining for the brief glimpse we all get of what mortality means to a vital species.

Review:

"A startling and eloquent meditation on death and bereavement." "A memoir that is stand-out superb." "Forceful, authentic and full of a kind of ethical and aesthetic clarity." "One of the most life-affirming books I have read ... brims with humanity, irreverence, and invigorating candor." "Lynch's vivid prose has the electricity of writing that tells us what is going on in the secret places of the community-and the secret places of the heart."

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Lynch, Thomas
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ISBN 10: 0140276238 ISBN 13: 9780140276237
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Book Description Penguin Books, 1998. Book Condition: New. Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: Thomas Lynch serves his readership as a poet and memoirist, and his townspeople as a funeral director. In this wholly unique collection of essays, the two vocations meet as Lynch shows himself to be a competent functionary of mourning--dispensing comfort and homespun wisdom to the grief-stricken--as well as a poet poignantly tuning language to the right tones of private release. He is also a man of sardonic wit, uncovering humor where we least thought to find it--in our fear of and fascination with death. In its homages to parents who have died and to children who shouldn't have, its tales of golfers tripping over grave markers, portraits of gourmands and hypochondriacs, lovers and suicides, The Undertaking displays an impressively wide vocal range--from solemn, nostalgic, and lyrical to acerbic, sprightly, and unflinchingly professional. Bookseller Inventory # ABE_book_new_0140276238

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