October 11, 2009 |
The death of a loved one nearly always leaves us bewildered, mumbling self-assuring axioms to fill the void. In Jim Krusoe's new novel, "Erased" (Tin House: 216 pp., $14.95 paper), that void takes on entirely unexpected dimensions: Theodore "Ted" Bellefontaine's dead mother, Helen, appears to have gone neither to heaven nor to hell, but to Cleveland. Helen is not the ideal mother -- not by any means. After leaving 4-year-old Ted in the care of a foster parent following her husband's death, she spends the majority of her life pursuing her own ends.
September 1, 2013 |
The late summer of 1963, I was going on 15 when my father brought me a copy of "The American Way of Death" and asked me to have a look and report back to him. It was the buzz among his fellow undertakers, a must read. But he was busy and I was bookish and baseball was over and a new school year loomed. So that early September 50 years ago I spent reading Jessica Mitford, hot off the press. She had, in cahoots with her second husband, Robert Treuhaft, a lefty attorney with an interest in low-cost funerals for union longshoremen in San Francisco, turned a magazine article ("St.
December 2, 2013 |
The death of actor Paul Walker in an automobile accident Saturday has left fans and the film community reeling - and Hollywood facing a series of tricky business decisions. As filmmakers and fellow performers remembered Walker as a deeply likable everyman with a taste for adventure, principals on the late actor's signature "Fast & Furious" franchise were left to deal with Walker's tragic passing on the screen. Walker's death, in a single-car crash in Valencia, came as the Glendale native was preparing to resume production on "Fast & Furious 7," with a return to the Atlanta set scheduled for Monday to shoot more scenes as rogue ex-cop Brian O'Conner.
December 21, 2011 |
Chu Sung-ha says he knows for sure that some of the people shown sobbing on television over the death of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il are faking it. Once, he was one of them. As a 20-year-old student at Pyongyang's prestigious Kim Il Sung University in 1994, when North Korea's founder and the school's namesake died, Chu and his fellow students were used to illustrate the nation's grief. Television cameras were rolling when the students were ushered into an auditorium to be told the news.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 10, 2011 |
Not long after she began studying to become a mortician, Amber Carvaly started to dream about death. In one dream, she found herself in an embalming room surrounded by gleaming silver tables. In another, she found herself in a cemetery, and in a third, her grandmother had died and, as her mother stood by, Carvaly let out an ear-piercing, heart-wrenching scream. Each time she awoke in her studio apartment in Eagle Rock scared, yet strangely reassured. Weeks into a demanding curriculum on such topics as the cultural history of undertaking, preparation for embalming and funeral ceremonies, she hadn't grown numb.
February 26, 2010 |
IOC President Jacques Rogge says the death of a Georgian luger will forever be associated with the Vancouver Games, just as the slaying of Israeli athletes remains a legacy of the Munich Olympics. Rogge says the International Olympic Committee accepts "moral responsibility" but not legal responsibility for the death of Nodar Kumaritashvili . The IOC chief says the training crash death will always cast a shadow over the Vancouver Olympics, but should be taken separately from the overall success of the Games.
April 4, 2010 |
All this talk about Locke dying on "Lost" or whether he's still around as a spirit or not dead because he's alive in the dual world got us thinking about the great TV episodes that have dealt with death. There're too many terrific dramatic shows with people dying in them -- any show with Dennis Franz or Michael C. Hall in it, for example -- for us to make a list of those best episodes, so we concentrated on comedies. Besides, paraphrasing that famous quote, dying is easy (except if you're Tony or the Russian)
June 26, 2012 |
Celebrities and filmmakers are mourning the death of prolific writer, director and journalist Nora Ephron, who passed away Tuesday in New York City. Responsible for hits such as "Sleepless in Seattle," "When Harry Met Sally... " and "Julie & Julia," Ephron was known for her wry, insightful and distinctly female work. "Nora Ephron was a journalist/artist who knew what was important to know; how things really worked, what was worthwhile, who was fascinating and why," Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson said in a touching joint statement to the Ministry.
October 31, 2012 |
I didn't plan to set up our annual Day of the Dead altar this year - too much work, I thought. That is, until my daughter called me on it. When I arranged a few pumpkins near the front door, she asked expectantly, "When will you put up the dead relatives?" Perhaps "putting up dead relatives" sounds a bit morbid. Perhaps the dancing calacas and catarinas (male and female skeletons, smiling and dressed up in their best outfits) that are a prerequisite for the holiday give the afterlife an unaccustomed vibrancy.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 23, 2013 |
The death earlier this year of Scott Sterling, 32-year-old son of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, was caused by a pulmonary embolism and "intravenous narcotic medication intake," the Los Angeles County coroner said Monday. The death was ruled accidental. Sterling was found dead in his apartment on Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu late on New Year's Day. Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department officials quickly determined that his death did not involve foul play but apparently stemmed from a drug overdose.