Making an Exit

From the Magnificent to the Macabre---How We Dignify the Dead

Sarah Murray

Picador

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"Not only a fascinating travelogue but also a personal meditation on loss and fate...There is a wealth to discover within these pages."—The Economist

Journalist Sarah Murray never gave much thought to what might ultimately happen to her remains—until her father died. Puzzled by the choices he made about the disposal of his "organic matter," she embarks on a series of journeys to discover how death is commemorated in different cultures. Her travels lead her to discover everything from a Czech chandelier of human bones and a weeping ceremony in Iran to a Philippine village where the casketed dead hang in caves.

Fascinating, poignant, and often funny, Making an Exit is Murray's exploration of the ways in which we seek to dignify the dead—and a deeply personal quest for a final send-off of her own.

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Book Excerpts

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1
The Lament
A TEAR JAR IN IRAN
 
 
As I step out of the car, I’m struggling to adjust the head scarf I’ll be wearing for the next two weeks. Gravel crunches beneath my feet and my breath turns to white vapor in the sharp air of a bright January morning. It’s my first day in Iran and Maryam, my guide, is taking me around some of Tehran’s museums and palaces. Sprawling out from the foot of the Alborz Mountains, the city feels a little like Eastern Europe before the fall of the Soviet Empire. The colors are muted, the cars are beaten up, and faceless

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Reviews

Praise for Making an Exit

“An Eat, Pray, Love for the afterlife … Murray tackles an uncomfortable subject with sensitivity, humor and great insight … Making an Exit raises a host of issues worth thinking about … In addition to being a deeply informative book, Making an Exit is also a personal one. Murray’s reflections on her father’s terminal illness and his plans for a no-frills cremation are particularly touching … In the end, as her own experiences show, the rituals we create to honor the dead may say more about the living, and our fears and hopes.”—Rachel Newcomb, The Washington Post

“The death of her father, and his clear orders for an unfussy, secular send-off, prompted Ms. Murray to consider her own long goodbye. The result is not only a fascinating travelogue, but also a personal meditation on loss and fate. Ms. Murray excels in the role of intrepid tour guide. She has an inviting way of taking readers by the hand to explore new cultures and places … there is a wealth to discover within these pages.”—The Economist


In the Press

MAKING AN EXIT by Sarah MurrayKirkus Book Reviews
Read the Kirkus Review of MAKING AN EXIT From the Magnificent to the Macabre--How We Dignify the Dead. A father's last wishes prompt a memoir examining how humans deal with death and the dead.
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About the Author

Sarah Murray

Sarah Murray is author of Moveable Feasts: From Ancient Rome to the 21st Century, the Incredible Journeys of the Food We Eat. A longtime Financial Times contributor, she lives in New York City.

Sarah Murray

Sarah Murray

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Available Formats and Book Details

Making an Exit
From the Magnificent to the Macabre---How We Dignify the Dead
Sarah Murray

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
Picador
November 2012
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9781250015655
ISBN10: 1250015650
5 3/4 x 9 inches, 320 pages, Includes 10 b&w photos throughout
$21.00

Hardcover

Hardcover
St. Martin's Press
October 2011
Hardcover
ISBN: 9780312533021
ISBN10: 0312533020
6 1/8 x 9 1/4 inches, 320 pages, Includes 10 black-and-white photographs throughout
$25.99

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
St. Martin's Press
October 2011
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781429989299
ISBN10: 1429989297
320 pages, Includes ten black-and-white photographs throughout
$7.99
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Picador

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