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Playing Dead


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About the Author

Elizabeth Greenwood teaches creative nonfiction at Columbia University. She is the author of Love Lockdown, Playing Dead, and Becoming a Yoga Instructor.


"A beguiling foray into the wacky yet somehow ever-fascinating realm of death fraud."
- Maria Konnikova, New York Times bestselling author of The Confidence Game
- Elle
"Wonderfully weird."
- Deborah Blum, New York Times bestselling author of The Poisoner's Handbook
"Elizabeth Greenwood is as entertaining and gifted an archeologist of subcultures as she is an able explorer of issues like anonymity, the right to privacy, and how much control people can ever exert over their identities. An energetic and insatiable writer, her generous mind infuses every page of this astonishing book."
- Heidi Julavits, author of The Folded Clock
"Exuberant and ironic, witty and compassionate, various and keenly-focused, Playing Dead is eccentric investigative journalism. A terrific subject, where the deadly (excuse the pun) serious and absurdly comic meet and mesh."
- Margo Jefferson, author of Negroland
- The Huffington Post
"Ghoulishly existential."
- BloombergBusinessweek
"Quirky, engaging, and surprisingly uplifting... Elizabeth Greenwood has written a book about death, faked and real, that teaches us much about life."
- Eric Weiner, New York Times bestselling author of The Geography of Genius
Playing Dead marks the debut of a very talented author. Both the book and the writer are cause for celebration."
- Jeff Guinn, New York Times bestselling author of Manson
"A bizarre expose of the disappearance industry."
- Entertainment Weekly
"Wildly entertaining."
-Tony Perrottet, author of Napoleon's Privates
"Slightly macabre, but ultimately very human; it is a questioning of how we seek satisfaction in life, and when we cut and run. Greenwood's narrative voice is humble and approachable, but as an investigator she is tenacious.... Playing Dead will please those attracted to the eccentric, as well as anyone who has ever fantasized about leaving it all behind."
- Shelf Awareness
"Belongs to that genre of popular nonfiction best exemplified by Jon Ronson.... It's a form that above all requires a likable, self-deprecating, curious narrator, and Greenwood fits the bill."
- Slate
- The Guardian
"Highly entertaining."
- Lenny Letter
"Earnestly researched."
- Kirkus Reviews
"From digging up suspect graves to buying her own death certificate, Greenwood investigates the work of death fraud with probing comedic wit, and ultimately delivers a reflection on the efficacy of escaping ourselves."
- DuJour
"A tragicomic study."
- Bust
"Entertaining and enlightening."
- Booklist
"Greenwood explores this topic with wit, clarity and a gift for making a somewhat morbid subject into a fascinating read."
- La Crosse Tribune
"If your life totally sucks then simply end it and start a new one. Elizabeth Greenwood's creepy and hilarious foray into death fakery shows you how."
- Simon Doonan, author of The Asylum and Beautiful People

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