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IN BRIEF

Nonfiction

May 26, 1991|Kenneth Turan

SCORING IN HEAVEN: Gravestones and Cemetery Art of the American Sunbelt States, photographs and text by Lucinda Bunnen and Virginia Warren Smith (Aperture: $40; 176 pp.). If the evidence of these pictures (such as the one above, taken in the cemetery in Vulture City, Ariz.) is to be believed, Americans are more hangloose after they've died than before. Photographers Bunnen and Smith traveled 26,000 miles and visited 677 cemeteries to compile this poignant, amusing and ultimately baffling look at domestic funerary art. What, after all, are we to think of the bowler's tombstone that gives the book its title, or the person who chose to be buried under a giant Easter basket surrounded by a six-foot fence. We live in strange times.

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