Thomas Mira y Lopez

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The Book of
Resting Places

Counterpoint Press
November 14, 2017

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In the aftermath of his father’s untimely death and his family’s indecision over what to do with the remains, Thomas Mira y Lopez became obsessed with the type and variety of places where we lay the dead to rest. The result is The Book of Resting Places, a singular collection of essays that weaves history, mythology, journalism, and personal narrative into the author’s search for a place to process grief.

In the aftermath of his father’s untimely death and his family’s indecision over what to do with the remains, Thomas Mira y Lopez became obsessed with the type and variety of places where we lay the dead to rest. The result is The Book of Resting Places, a singular collection of essays that weaves history, mythology, journalism, and personal narrative into the author’s search for a place to process grief.

Praise

“Mira y Lopez’s first book is a thoughtful, intriguing collection of 10 personal essays dealing with the dead and where they end up . . . These are wide-ranging and often tender meditations on death.”
Kirkus Reviews

“Each place in The Book of Resting Places is haunted. But the deeper we go into Thomas Mira y Lopez’s MC Escher painting of a collection, the more we realize that perhaps it is us, not the dead, who haunt the past. An excellent meditation on his father’s death and his mother’s preparations for her own, this book’s loneliness is more than matched by its curiosity and its beauty.”
—Ander Monson, author of Vanishing Point

“The Book of Resting Places is admirable for the restlessness and fierceness of its need to work through both its own elegy and the nature of elegies in general. From defunct cemeteries to Canaletto’s genius for turning presence to absence to those museums of the self assembled by collectors or hoarders to the nature of parallax to cryonics, it’s wryly deft in its associative deployment of useful metaphors in its attempt to come to terms with loss, and shame: what is the safest way to preserve the dead, and to acknowledge the love we sometimes failed to reciprocate?”
—Jim Shepard, author of The World to Come and The Book of Aron

“Mira y Lopez is a stunning writer and his debut book, a tender and adventurous exploration of the intimate distances we share with the dead, deserves to be widely read. Artful sentences mirror, page after page, his artful mind. With formal intelligence and quiet wit, he has found death to be a spur to reflection and wholehearted embrace of life. This is a book to savor.”
—Alison Deming, author of Zoologies: On Animals and the Human Spirit