We are pleased to offer for review ‘Death’s Summer Coat: What the History of Death and Dying can tell us about Life and Living’ by Brandy Schillace (Elliott and Thompson, 2015). Expressions of interest are welcome from across the medical humanities.
Consideration of death and dying is back in the public forum. People are sipping tea at Death Cafés, attending Death Salons and visiting exhibitions such as ‘Death: A Self-Portrait’ at the Wellcome Collection. Death’s Summer Coat addresses this surge of interest by providing a compelling crossover narrative: of interest to a general audience, but also to those who are grieving.
How can we approach death in a culture dead-set against talking about mortality? Written with humour and humanity, this is an informed and up-to-date work that uses personal narrative and photography, science, history, and literature to explore the incredibly diverse and sometimes just incredible ways in which humans have dealt with mortality in different times and places.
Topics include: how we conceive of death; death and the departed across the globe; the language of death and why it matters; the Victorians; medical science and preservation; death and medical care; and modern-day rituals. Some of the stories are strikingly unfamiliar; others are far more familiar than you might suppose. But all reveal a lot about the present and about ourselves’.
If you would like to write a review on ‘Death’s Summer Coat’ (approximately 1,000-1,500 words in length), then please email our reviews editor with a short explanation of why you are well placed to review the book.