Now a major motion picture starring Jon Hamm, Geena Davis, Lois Smith, and Tim Robbins.
“An elegant, thoughtful and quietly unsettling drama. Marjorie Primeoperates by stealth… at some point, you realize that it’s been landing skillfully targeted punch after punch, right where it hurts… It keeps developing in your head, like a photographic negative, long after you have seen it.”
—Ben Brantley, New York Times
“Brilliant…A startling and profound new drama.” —Jesse Green, New York
“Memory is an essential element of life—crucial to thought, feeling, progress, identity. But it also comes into play with particular power and meaning after someone who has been loved dies. And it is this tension between life and death—with memory functioning as connective tissue—that animates Jordan Harrison’s subtly shattering, Marjorie Prime.” —Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun-Times
“Jordan Harrison’s play has all the hallmarks of the best science fiction; it’s clever in conceit, alive with humor, surprising in its turns, and terribly haunting by the time the lights go out.”
—Rollo Romig, New Yorker
With help from an intriguingly innovative technology in a future not far from our present, Marjorie examines her past, sometimes replacing her realities with idealized memories. Through deeply drawn characters—both real and in the form of artificial intelligence companions, or “Primes” —Harrison burrows into troubling questions of the digital age: What would we remember, and what would we forget, given the power of authorship? Will we be any less human, once computers know us better than we know ourselves?
Jordan Harrison grew up on Bainbridge Island, near Seattle. His plays include Maple and Vine, The Grown-Up, Doris to Darlene, Amazons and Their Men, Finn in the Underworld, Act a Lady, Kid-Simple, and Futura. Harrison is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Hodder Fellowship, the Kesselring Prize, and the Horton Foote Prize, among other awards. He was a 2015 Pulitzer Prize finalist for Marjorie Prime. A graduate of the Brown MFA program, Harrison is a writer-producer for the Netflix original series Orange is the New Black.
Gawande, a practicing surgeon, addresses his profession's ultimate limitation, arguing that quality of life is the desired goal for patients and families. Gawande offers examples of freer, more socially fulfilling models for assisting the infirm and dependent elderly, and he explores the varieties of hospice care to demonstrate that a person's last weeks or months may be rich and dignified.
Full of eye-opening research and riveting storytelling, Being Mortal asserts that medicine can comfort and enhance our experience even to the end, providing not only a good life but also a good end.
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).
Fascinated by our pervasive fear of dead bodies, mortician Caitlin Doughty set out to discover how other cultures care for the dead. From Here to Eternity is an immersive global journey that introduces compelling, powerful rituals almost entirely unknown in America.
In rural Indonesia, she watches a man clean and dress his grandfather’s mummified body, which has resided in the family home for two years. In La Paz, she meets Bolivian natitas (cigarette-smoking, wish-granting human skulls), and in Tokyo she encounters the Japanese kotsuage ceremony, in which relatives use chopsticks to pluck their loved-ones’ bones from cremation ashes.
With boundless curiosity and gallows humor, Doughty vividly describes decomposed bodies and investigates the world’s funerary history. She introduces deathcare innovators researching body composting and green burial, and examines how varied traditions, from Mexico’s Días de los Muertos to Zoroastrian sky burial help us see our own death customs in a new light.
Doughty contends that the American funeral industry sells a particular—and, upon close inspection, peculiar—set of "respectful" rites: bodies are whisked to a mortuary, pumped full of chemicals, and entombed in concrete. She argues that our expensive, impersonal system fosters a corrosive fear of death that hinders our ability to cope and mourn. By comparing customs, she demonstrates that mourners everywhere respond best when they help care for the deceased, and have space to participate in the process.
Exquisitely illustrated by artist Landis Blair, From Here to Eternity is an adventure into the morbid unknown, a story about the many fascinating ways people everywhere have confronted the very human challenge of mortality.