Death in the Family: Stories Obituaries Tell - a book launch

Beechwood National Memorial Center - Borden Flemming

Join us on Sunday, January 14 2024 at 2:00 PM for the official launch of Death in the Family: Stories Obituaries Tell!

When local author Donna McCart Sharkey, daughter died in November, 2013, she was a parent in search of consolation and looking for similarities to her situation. She began to read the obituary column of her local newspaper and although the author of A Death in the Family: Stories Obituaries Tell read extensively about death of an adult child, she found obituaries the most comforting and kept returning to them. Day after day, she became obsessed and discovered that obituaries were a specific genre in themselves.

This book, written within the tradition of social history, follows a decade of obituaries from the point of view of one author and notices the gradual changes in content, context, and style.

In clear and precise writing, Donna McCart Sharkey explores and finds the extraordinary within the captivating life stories – the brief biographies and at times, autobiographies – of the newly dead.

Endorsements for the book:

Donna McCart Sharkey, with insight from her own deep experiences of mourning, has gathered a fascinating collection of obituaries from one Canadian newspaper over the last several years, choosing telling excerpts that reflect the characters, origins, activities and accomplishments of the deceased. Their words reflect the deep-seated need to authenticate the lives of their loved ones, and read separately, or according to theme, inspire us to reflect on the variety and diversity of human experience. - Barbara M. Freeman, PH.D., media historian

A Death in the Family: Stories Obituaries Tell is a book of musings; with the author’s own life as subtle filigree, it offers a unique and privileged vantage point on human nature with all its quirks, longings and unpredictability. Rachel Thibeault, Ph.D. FCAOT, O.C.  

The book will be available for purchase on-site from Donna McCart Sharkey for $29.95.

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