A young mortician goes
behind the scenes, unafraid of the gruesome (and fascinating) details of her
Most people want to avoid thinking about death, but Caitlin
Doughty—a twenty-something with a degree in medieval history and a flair for
the macabre—took a job at a crematory, turning morbid curiosity into her life’s
work. Thrown into a profession of gallows humor and vivid characters (both
living and very dead), Caitlin learned to navigate the secretive culture of
those who care for the deceased.
Smoke Gets in Your
Eyes tells an unusual coming-of-age story full of bizarre encounters and
unforgettable scenes. Caring for dead bodies of every color, shape, and
affliction, Caitlin soon becomes an intrepid explorer in the world of the dead.
She describes how she swept ashes from the machines (and sometimes onto her
clothes) and reveals the strange history of cremation and undertaking,
marveling at bizarre and wonderful funeral practices from different cultures.
Her eye-opening, candid, and often hilarious story is like
going on a journey with your bravest friend to the cemetery at midnight. She
demystifies death, leading us behind the black curtain of her unique
profession. And she answers questions you didn’t know you had: Can you catch a
disease from a corpse? How many dead bodies can you fit in a Dodge van? What
exactly does a flaming skull look like?
Honest and heartfelt, self-deprecating and ironic, Caitlin’s
engaging style makes this otherwise taboo topic both approachable and
engrossing. Now a licensed mortician with an alternative funeral practice,
Caitlin argues that our fear of dying warps our culture and society, and she
calls for better ways of dealing with death (and our dead). Download and start listening now!