A stunning memoir exploring the realities of care-giving, family life and the art of dying.
Sarah Tarlow is a British archaeologist and academic. As professor of historical archaeology at the University of Leicester, Sarah is best known for her work on the archaeology of death and burial. She has written or edited ten academic books about archaeology and history. This is her first memoir.
Extraordinary, unflinching, wonderful, moving -- Nina
Stibbe, author of Love, Nina
'Bracingly candid . . . Digs away at our collective fantasy that in dying or caring for the dying we are at our best. In reality, in either role we are often withdrawn, in pain, resentful, bad-tempered: our worst . . . addictively unsentimental' * The Times *
In Archaeology of Loss Sarah Tarlow has harnessed the consoling power of unvarnished truth. Direct, honest and deeply compassionate, this book is a companion for anyone navigating the hardships of loss and uncertainty, but it's also a celebration of all that love can stretch to hold. Informed by both Tarlow's lived experience and perspective as an archaeologist, it asks vital questions about what it means to live and die well. I found it both thought-provoking and moving. -- Octavia Bright, author of This Ragged Grace
The narrator has the scholar's inability to soften or sweeten what she knows, which is that we don't always love the dying and the dead, and that rage and mixed feelings are at least as interesting as sorrow. Look elsewhere for cheeriness; the pleasures offered here are those of intelligence and complexity in the hard times that will come to many of us. -- Sarah Moss * The Guardian *
Brave, bold and exquisitely told and with such vibrancy and force, The Archaeology of Loss is a personal story of love, grief, and pain perfectly framed by the author's deep knowledge of the archaeologies of death and mourning. -- Helen Paris, author of Lost Property
A wonderful work of memoir . . . powerful, fiercely honest, grippingly written and utterly immersive. -- Harry Whitehead, author of The Cannibal Spirit
A tender and big-hearted embrace of a book, one that holds whole worlds in its arms: courtship, scholarship, reflections on death and its rituals. Here is an archeologist welding her intellectual acumen to her experience of her husband's terminal illness. A poetic excavation of loss, grief and ritual. -- Graham Caveney, author of The Boy with the Perpetual Nervousness
A meticulously clear yet tender self-excavation exploring love and bereavement, today and through time, from a brilliant archaeologist. -- Rebecca Wragg Sykes, author of Kindred