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W. W. Norton & Company

The Undertaking: Life Studies from the Dismal Trade

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Every year I bury a couple hundred of my townspeople. So opens this singular and wise testimony. Like all poets, inspired by death, Thomas 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 ear tuned to the indispensable vernaculars of love and grief. In these twelve pieces his is the voice of both witness and functionary. Here, Lynch, poet to the dying, names the hurts and whispers the condolences and shapes the questions posed by this familiar mystery. So here is homage to parents who have died and to children who shouldn't have. Here are golfers tripping over grave markers, gourmands and hypochondriacs, lovers and suicides. These are the lessons for life our mortality teaches us.



Author: Thomas Lynch
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Published: 06/01/2009
Pages: 224
Binding Type: Paperback
Weight: 0.40lbs
Size: 7.80h x 4.90w x 0.60d
ISBN: 9780393334876

About the Author
Lynch, Thomas: - Thomas Lynch's stories, poems, and essays have appeared in Granta, the Atlantic, Harper's, the New York Times, and elsewhere. His first collection of essays, The Undertaking, was a finalist for the National Book Award. Lynch lives in Milford, Michigan.