Archives For Kevin Toolis

 

Lessons about Death and Dying
from an Irish Wake

A Feature Review of

My Father’s Wake:
How the Irish Teach Us How to Live, Love and Die

Kevin Toolis

Hardback: Da Capo Press, 2017
Buy Now: [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]


Reviewed by Cynthia Beach

 

Syntax and word, rhythm and rite roll and surge in this tribute to a wordsmith’s dying father, Sonny—and to the neglected Irish practice of “waking the dead.”

Journalist and filmmaker Kevin Toolis confronts our cultural death denial and the “Western Death Machine.” He says, “Death is a whisper in the Anglo-Saxon world. Instinctively we feel we should dim the lights, lower our voices and draw the screens. We want to give the dead, the dying, the grieving, room.”

In other words, we don’t want to address the fact of death. How important is a book about death? Well, Toolis suggests, rather vital.  “If you breathe,” he says, “you die.”

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