A Good Death, with Caitlin Doughty

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It’s our Halloween show, and who better to talk to than the most fun mortician on the planet, Caitlin Doughty. We talk to Caitlin about death planning, “secondary flaccidity,” the nest death movie ever, and her new book, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes and Other Lessons from the Crematory.

Check our other recent podcasts, on breast cancer prevention with author of Breasts, Florence Williams; with Deborah Blum, author of The Poisoner’s Handbook; and our episode with Mary Roach, on her latest book Gulp!; and many among others.

caitlin1Caitlin Doughty is a Los Angeles based mortician and death theorist. Her first book, the New York Times bestselling Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, describes her job working at an Oakland crematory, and includes many funny, moving, and enlightening stories about death and the funeral industry. Caitlin’s webseries “Ask a Mortician” and the Order of the Good Death website have led to features on National Public Radio, BBC, the Huffington Post, Vice, the LA Times, and Salon, among others. She has done presentations on the history of death culture, rituals, and the funeral industry for diverse audiences including the Center for Inquiry, SXSW Interactive, Dan Savage’s Live Lovecast, Upright Citizen’s Brigade, and the Ontario Coroner’s Association. Currently, she works as a licensed funeral director/mortician and is in the process of opening her own alternative funeral service, Undertaking LA.

Music from the show includes the Rolling Stones, Dancing with Mr. D; Tom Lehrer, I Hold Your Hand in Mine; and music from the movie Departures.