(March 2014): My most recent project seeks to examine the culture of mourning.
In October of 2013, our family lost a man we all cared about a great deal. That event continues to stun me, and it's caused me to consider the ways in which we as a culture have grieved--over time and across countries--as well as how we tell our own children about death.
I've also written a chapbook called The Recent History of Middle Sand Lake, that deals with a loss via Alzheimer's.
As I work on this material, I've decided to create a reading list--voices and works that are a kind of compendium to grief and mourning and life-after-death.
- Elegy by Mary Jo Bang
- Without by Donald Hall
- Death Tractates by Brenda Hillman
- In Orbit by Kim-Ann Lieberman
- Beloved on the Earth: Poems of Grief and Gratitude ed. Jim Perlman
- On Ghosts by Elizabeth Robinson
- The Year of What Now by Brian Russell
- One With Others [a little book of her days] by CD Wright
- Paula by Isabel Allende
- Mourning Diary by Roland Barthes
- Wave by Sonali Deraniyagala
- The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
- Comfort: A Journey Through Grief by Ann Hood
- A Grief Observed by CS Lewis
- The Still Point of the Turning World by Emily Rapp
- Wild by Cheryl Strayed
Death Customs, The Afterlife
- The Egyptian Book of the Dead
- Death's Door: Modern Dying and the Ways We Grieve by Sandra Gilbert
- The Good Funeral: Death, Grief, and the Community of Care by Thomas Long and Thomas Lynch
- The American Way of Death by Jessica Mitford
- How We Die: Reflections on Life's Final Chapter by Sherwin B. Nuland
- The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying by Sogyal Rinpoche
- Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife by Mary Roach
- Body of Work: Meditations on Mortality from the Human Anatomy Lab by Christine Montross
- Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach