Caitlin Doughty, a mortician, best-selling author, blogger, YouTube personality, and director of the nonprofit funeral home, Undertaking LA, has long been fascinated by death, what it means to treat the dead with dignity, and why we are so afraid of dead bodies. Her new book, From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death, sets out on a global journey to discover how other cultures care for their dead. With curiosity and morbid humor, Doughty encounters a range of rituals from a grandpa’s mummy being cared for in a family home in rural Indonesia to a Japanese practice of using chopsticks to pick bones from cremation ashes. As many cultures around the world celebrate their ancestors this time of year, join us for a refreshing look at death practices, mourning rituals, and how we might bring life to the way we think about death.
Mortician Caitlin Doughty–host and creator of “Ask a Mortician” and the New York Times best-selling author of Smoke Gets in Your Eyes–founded The Order of the Good Death. She lives in Los Angeles, where she runs her nonprofit funeral home, Undertaking LA.
Carolyn Kellogg is the book editor of the Los Angeles Times. She is a recipient of the paper’s editorial award, and she is a vice president of the board of the National Book Critics Circle. Kellogg has served as editor of LAist.com and web editor of Marketplace and has been widely published. She has an MFA in creative writing and a bachelor’s degree from USC.