two illustrated skeletons, one wearing a skirt and the other wearing a hat

This Party's Dead: Grief, Joy and Spilled Rum at the World's Death Festivals

by Erica Buist Author

In this remarkable exploration of global customs surrounding death, journalist Erica Buist travels to Mexico, Nepal, Madagascar, Thailand, Indonesia, Sicily, Japan, and New Orleans in order to understand how grief can become a celebration. Buist's journey began after her father-in-law was found deceased in his apartment, dead for a week before anyone thought to look for him. Confronting the very real truth that everyone dies eventually, Buist set out to understand how cultures around the world confront that reality and move forward in the wake of a loss. She discovered a world where death isn't hidden away and avoided but celebrated and foregrounded, in turn creating a life that is richer and more vivid for the knowledge that it is finite. A powerful book to reorient our collective understanding of what the end of life brings.