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The Undertaking

Zinnia Cyclamen is a humanist funeral celebrant, which means she prepares, writes and delivers personal non-religious funeral services.  She is also a writer. You can read more about Zinnia at her blog here.

Undertaking The Undertaking: Life Studies from the Dismal Trade is by Thomas Lynch, an Irish-American undertaker and poet. It's non-fiction, a series of essays about the author's work as an undertaker in a small town in Michigan. Published over 10 years ago, it hasn't dated at all and is still in print. It is beautifully, lyrically written; funny and sad; clear-sighted and quirky; precise and profound. Given its subject matter and literariness, it's surprisingly readable, and uplifting rather than depressing. There is a second volume, 'Bodies In Motion And At Rest', which is that rare thing among sequels: every bit as good as the first one. This would be my desert island book.


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