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Don't be put off by the ostensible subject--corpses, hearsts in the night, and creepy funeral homes. Like The American Way of Death, The Loved One, and The Undertaking, this is destined to be a classic that tells us more than we want to know about the aftermath of our death. But it is also a beautifully poetic look at a scandal, and marital strife, and a family that has lost its way.
— From Carla's Picks
"A darkly funny memoir about family reckonings" (O, The Oprah Magazine
)--the story of a young man who, by handling the dead, makes peace with the living.
Andrew Meredith's father, a literature professor at La Salle University, was fired after unspecified allegations of sexual misconduct. It's a transgression that resulted in such long-lasting familial despair that Andrew cannot forgive him. In the wake of the scandal, he frantically treads water, stuck in a kind of suspended adolescence--falling in and out of school, moving blindly from one half-hearted relationship to the next. When Andrew is forced to move back home to his childhood neighborhood in Northeast Philadelphia and take a job alongside his father as a "remover," the name for those unseen, unsung men whose charge it is to take away the dead from their last rooms, he begins to see his father not through the lens of a wronged and resentful child, but through that of a sympathetic, imperfect man.
Called "artful" and "compelling" by Thomas Lynch in The Wall Street Journal
, Meredith's poetic voice is as unforgettable as his story, and "he tucks his bittersweet childhood memories between tales of removals as carefully as the death certificates he slips between the bodies he picks up and the stretcher-like contraption that transports each body to the waiting vehicle" (Minneapolis Star-Tribune
). "Potent" (Publishers Weekly
), and "ultimately rewarding" (The Boston Globe
), The Removers
is a searing, coming-of-age memoir with "lyrical language and strong sense of place" (The Philadelphia Inquirer