Caitlin Doughty had a lifelong curiosity about death, so after college, she took a job at a crematory. Her behind-the-scenes account of her time there shines a rare light on a topic most people would rather not contemplate, or are afraid to ask about.
As a child Caitlin Doughty witnessed a traumatic accident, and was never brave enough to find out if the victim lived or not. Her inability to confront that death led to a lifelong morbid curiosity, a history degree in Medieval funeral practices, and then a job in a crematory. Smoke Gets in Your Eyes is a surprisingly warm and humorous memoir of her experiences, but as she recounts various cultures’ death rituals, it becomes a compelling argument that the American taboo surrounding death is dysfunctional and needs to be revolutionized.