Sunday, March 20, 2016

The latest trend: Obituaries featuring political commentary

Have you checked the obituaries lately? Several members of the recently departed have been using death notices to make one final plea to voters about who they should back in November.

SPOW President Maureen O'Donnell discussed this trend with WBBM 780/105.9FM. Click here to listen to the report.

The best books about obituaries

The Society of Professional Obituary Writers website features a list of books for obituary writers and readers. Do you have any suggestions for other tomes we should add? If so, email us your favorite titles.

Monday, March 07, 2016

Obits: The Movie

OBIT, a documentary by Vanessa Gould, opens at the TriBeCa Film Festival on April 17. Starring George Clooney, Cate Blanchett, Julia Roberts, Leonardo DiCaprio et al. Thanks to The New York Times reporter Bruce Weber for giving us a heads up on this.

Click here for a trailer preview of Ms. Gould's documentary on The New York Times obituaries. I can't wait until it hits my neighborhood theaters.

Margalit Speaks

The Paris Review published an interview with the inimitable Margalit Fox, The New York Times' 20-year obituary writer, in September 2014. Here's the top of Alex Ronan's interview with Margalit that's as good a read today as it was then.

In nearly twenty years and twelve hundred obituaries, Margalit Fox, a senior writer at the New York Times, has chronicled the lives of such personages as the president of Estonia, an underwater cartographer, and the inventor of Stove Top Stuffing. An instrumental figure in pushing the obituary past Victorian-era formal constraints, Fox produces features-style write-ups of her subjects whether they’re ubiquitous public figures, comparatively unknown men and women whose inventions have changed the world, or suicidal poets.  

(Photo by Ivan Farkas)

Click here for the full interview. I not only wish I could write as well as Margalit, I wish I could give as good an interview as her.