The Mourner's Dance
Macfarlane Walter & Ross, 2002 / Vintage, 2010
One of the prices we pay for human attachment is that we mourn when a loved one dies. Every society has devised poignant ways to express and support the mourner's grief, from Irish wakes to the wearing of special clothes to Internet mourning scrapbooks and chat groups. Inspired by the homemade customs her daughter invented when her fiancé died, Katherine Ashenburg's The Mourner's Dance: What We Do When People Die looks at the rich choreography of mourning rituals and practices through the ages and around the world. It asks, how do we mourn in the modern world, when so many of the customs that made up the mourner's dance have disappeared?
One of Amazon.ca's Best 25 Books for 2002, one of the Globe and Mail's Best 100 Books of 2002 (an international list), finalist for the $15,000 Pearson Nonfiction Prize 2003, and finalist for the $20,000 Trillium Award (best book published in Ontario), 2003.
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