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Down among the dead men : a year in the life of a mortuary technician

by Williams, Michelle, 1973-

Format: Print Book 2010
Availability: Available at 1 Library 1 of 1 copy
Available (1)
Location Collection Call #
CLP - Main Library Second Floor - Non-fiction RA622.7.W55 A3 2010
Location  CLP - Main Library
Collection  Second Floor - Non-fiction
Call Number  RA622.7.W55 A3 2010
Michelle Williams is young and attractive, with close family ties, a busy social life . . . and an unusual occupation. When she impulsively applies to be a mortuary technician and is offered the position, she has no idea that her decision to accept will be one of the most momentous of her life. "What I didn't realize then," she writes, "was that I was about to start one of the most amazing jobs you can do."

To Williams, life in the mortuary is neither grim nor frightening. She introduces readers to a host of unique characters: pathologists (many eccentric, some utterly crazy), undertakers, and the man from the coroner's office who sings to her every morning. No two days are alike, and while Williams's sensitivity to the dead never wavers, her tales from the crypt range from mischievous to downright shocking. Readers won't forget the fitness fanatic run over while doing nighttime push-ups on the road, the man so large he had to be carted in via refrigerated truck, or the guide dog who led his owner onto railway tracks--and left him there. The indomitable Williams never bats an eye, even as she is confronted--daily--with situations that would leave the rest of us speechless.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "A 30-year-old British woman, bored with her National Health Service job, applies on a whim for a position as a trainee at a hospital mortuary. This entertaining memoir chronicles the author's first year on the job, which sees her learning how to perform a postmortem, determine cause of death, and deal with grieving relatives and shady undertakers (among a lot of other things). She tells her story in a straightforward manner, not pulling any punches when it comes to describing her working environment ( He tugged at the guts and began to unwind them . . . . ), although this means there are occasional gruesome and shivery moments ( it was infested with maggots that were having a huge feast on human flesh ). Her colleagues are portrayed as ordinary men and women, not as a collection of comic stereotypes: one of the book's key themes is that it's an unusual job, but the people who do it are just regular folk. Not your run-of-the-mill occupational memoir, but definitely an interesting one.--Pitt, David Copyright 2010 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Additional Information
Subjects Williams, Michelle, -- 1973-
Mortuary technicians -- Great Britain -- Biography.
Publisher New York : Berkeley, CA :Soft Skull Press ;2010
Distributed by Publishers Group West,
Language English
Description x, 262 pages ; 21 cm
ISBN 9781593762988 (alk. paper)
1593762984 (alk. paper)
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