Find out the latest indie author news. For FREE.

Formats
Paperback Details
  • 09/2022
  • 979-8-9850294-0-6
  • 206 pages
  • $44.95
Jane Hopkins
Author
Cemetery Reflections
Jane Hopkins, author

Adult; Art & Photography; (Market)

Cemetery Reflections integrates poignant photographs, historic poetry and memorable prose in an exploration of the cemetery as a place of solace and comfort, where final and loving farewells may rest safely among the tombstones. Beautiful images of intricately carved headstones and statues vividly capture the pain of grief and loss across three centuries of American cemeteries. The embedded text provides a compassionate context that deepens our awareness of the significance and mystery of death.
Reviews
Striking and elegiac, Hopkins’s exploration of American cemeteries contemplates, through arresting photographs taken at over 200 cemeteries in the Eastern United States and Canada, North American traditions of memorialization, grief, and solace. Her shots of headstones, sculptures, stained glass, mausoleums, and other markers to the dead, often freshened up by flowers brought by the living, invite the same kind of quietly awed, contemplative response that a reader might feel strolling a cemetery in real life: this is an encounter with time itself, with the force of elements and the perseverance of stone and memory, with the question of what of us will endure.

Hopkins demonstrates a keen eye for crumbling stone, the interplay of memorial markers and the abundant life of the surrounding trees and foliage, for the impulse to impose order on the messiness of life and death through graveyard symmetry. (She also deftly arranges the images so that their corresponding qualities enrich each other on the page.) The individual carvings and headstones remain fascinating throughout, especially the oldest, with their skulls and death’s heads suggesting how much closer death felt in ages past, the markers’ messages still clear even when their faces are faded by centuries. Occasional surprises offer jolts of recognition of our own era: a freshly dug grave, not yet filled, or a pair of stone rabbit garden figurines, their cutesy tackiness suddenly endowed with greater significance.

Supplementing the photos are short, well-chosen excerpts from a poetry anthology from the 1890s, plus selections from authors like Louisa May Alcott and Leo Tolstoy—who, while always edifying to read, isn’t exactly an authority on American ways of dying. But he speaks to the larger truth that powers Hopkins’s work, and any healthy fascination with places of remembrance: each of these markers represents a life and all that entails. There’s beauty, wisdom, and peace in this collection.

Takeaway: This striking collection of cemetery photography sheds light on the American way of memorialization.

Great for fans of: Yolanda Zappaterra’s Cities of the Dead, Lorraine Evans’s Burying the Dead.

Production grades
Cover: A-
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: A
Editing: A
Marketing copy: A

Formats
Paperback Details
  • 09/2022
  • 979-8-9850294-0-6
  • 206 pages
  • $44.95

Loading...