The delightful second book by death-positive revolutionary (and American hero) Caitlin Doughty, From Here to Eternity is a heartfelt travelogue through ancient funerary practices and cutting-edge modern deathcare. Recommended By Hayley H., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
A New York Times and Los Angeles Times Bestseller
“Doughty chronicles [death] practices with tenderheartedness, a technician’s fascination, and an unsentimental respect for grief.” — Jill Lepore, The New Yorker
Fascinated by our pervasive fear of dead bodies, mortician Caitlin Doughty embarks on a global expedition to discover how other cultures care for the dead. From Zoroastrian sky burials to wish-granting Bolivian skulls, she investigates the world’s funerary customs and expands our sense of what it means to treat the dead with dignity. Her account questions the rituals of the American funeral industry — especially chemical embalming — and suggests that the most effective traditions are those that allow mourners to personally attend to the body of the deceased. Exquisitely illustrated by artist Landis Blair, From Here to Eternity is an adventure into the morbid unknown, a fascinating tour through the unique ways people everywhere confront mortality.
“Doughty finds the humanity in others cultures' relationship with death that seems to be lacking in ours.” VICE
“It sounds a bit like Eat, Pray, Die, but her project is much larger than its premise first implies. She is searching not for personal spiritual enlightenment or the morbid titillation of thana-tourism, but for practical, radical alternatives to our corporatized death industry. Her travels illuminate a host of compelling possibilities for better funerals and a less fraught relationship with our dead.” New Republic
“Doughty writes bluntly about open-air cremations, natural burials and body composting, bringing a little more clarity and a little less mystery to the question: 'What happens to us after we die?'” NPR
“Illuminating.…From Here to Eternity humanizes rituals that might otherwise seem unfathomable.” Paste
“Thought-provoking.…Unless you and your friends are immortal, this book pertains to you.” A. J. Jacobs
“Caitlin Doughty is razor sharp, and writes about death with exceptional clarity and style. From Here to Eternity manages to be both an extremely funny travelogue and a deeply moving book about what death means to us all.” Dylan Thuras, co-founder of Atlas Obscura
“Doughty is a relentlessly curious and chipper tour guide to the underworld, and the weirder things get, the happier she seems.…Her dispatches from the dark side [are] doing us all a kindness — offering a picture of what we’re in for, even if we’d rather not know.” New York Times Book Review
About the Author
Mortician Caitlin Doughty — host and creator of Ask a Mortician and the New York Times best-selling author of Smoke Gets in Your Eyes — founded The Order of the Good Death. She lives in Los Angeles, where she runs her nonprofit funeral home, Undertaking LA.