Phil Brown; 5/5/10; No Internet Text; Australian Literary Review
Curtains; By Tom Jokinen; UQP,279pp,
The Deadly Dinner Party; By Jonathan A. Edlow’ New South,245pp,
The D-Word; By Sue Brayne; Continuum, 72pp,
In this trinity of books about disease, death and dying, the authors muse on the fact that, as a culture, we are reluctant to acknowledge our mortality.
- Why is this so? Surely the answer is in the category of the bleeding obvious. Why confront the grim reaper before you need to? But it’s this attitude that makes talking about death one of our most enduring taboos. As far as Canadian writer Tom Jokinen is concerned the only way to deal with such a no-go zone is to go there, which he did by chucking in his job as a journalist and radio producer to become an apprentice undertaker at a funeral parlour in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Winnipeg is a good choice, Jokinen writes, as it has “more funeral homes than Starbucks outlets”.