Editors David Shields and Bradford Morrow have put together a heavy but thoroughly interesting collection of essays in The Inevitable: Contemporary Writers Confront Death. Before opening the book, I had expectations about what death would look like in these essays - a somber funeral, the confusion of having lost someone, or perhaps a rumination on emptiness and loss. And while these elements are present, I was also genuinely surprised by the uniqueness of the authors' experiences of death; it is encountered in an array of different ways, is interpreted differently, and means different things to people of varying cultures. That element - that intriguing difference - is what I found most compelling about this collection. Death is the one and only thing that all living beings have in common, and yet it is so personal.
As an example, in her essay "The Sutra of Maggots and Blowflies," ...
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