From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death (Paperback)

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From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death By Caitlin Doughty, Landis Blair (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Caitlin Doughty, Landis Blair (Illustrator)
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Staff Reviews

I picked up From Here to Eternity based on a recommendation from one of my creative writing professors and I have not stopped talking about it since. If the idea of reading a book about death and funeral practices fills you with a sense of unease or discomfort, I urge you to push past those feelings and give this book a chance. Caitlin Doughty has mastered the art of writing nonfiction that is equally tender, insightful, and surprisingly funny (in the way I imagine only a mortician could be).   —Macsen

— From Staff Favorites List


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.

About the Author

Caitlin Doughty is a mortician and the New York Times best-selling author of Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, From Here to Eternity, and Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs? She is the creator of the web series Ask a Mortician, and the founder of The Order of the Good Death. She lives in Los Angeles, California, where she owns a funeral home.

Landis Blair illustrated the prize-winning graphic novel The Hunting Accident and the New York Times bestseller From Here to Eternity, and has published illustrations in the New York Times, Chicago magazine, and Medium. He lives in Chicago, Illinois.

Praise For…

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

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 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?'

The macabre travelogue is a thoughtful reflection and a smart critique of the American funeral industry, with plenty of gallows humor thrown in.
— Smithsonian

From Here To Eternity is fascinating, thought-provoking and—who would have guessed?—sometimes funny. Put it on your bucket list.

— Mail on Sundays

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 finds the humanity in others cultures' relationship with death that seems to be lacking in ours.

This humane book gently provokes you to wonder: what exactly is your ideal funeral?
— The Times

Product Details
ISBN: 9780393356281
ISBN-10: 0393356280
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Publication Date: October 9th, 2018
Pages: 288
Language: English