My outlet sale Father's Wake: How outlet online sale the Irish Teach Us to Live, Love, and Die outlet sale

My outlet sale Father's Wake: How outlet online sale the Irish Teach Us to Live, Love, and Die outlet sale

My outlet sale Father's Wake: How outlet online sale the Irish Teach Us to Live, Love, and Die outlet sale

Description

Product Description

An intimate, lyrical look at the ancient rite of the Irish wake--and the Irish way of overcoming our fear of death

Death is a whisper for most of us. Instinctively we feel we should dim the lights, pull the curtains, and speak softly. But on a remote island off the coast of Ireland''s County Mayo, death has a louder voice.

Each day, along with reports of incoming Atlantic storms, the local radio runs a daily roll call of the recently departed. The islanders go in great numbers, young and old alike, to be with their dead. They keep vigil with the corpse and the bereaved company through the long hours of the night. They dig the grave with their own hands and carry the coffin on their own shoulders. The islanders cherish the dead--and amid the sorrow, they celebrate life, too.

In My Father''s Wake, acclaimed author and award-winning filmmaker Kevin Toolis unforgettably describes his own father''s wake and explores the wider history and significance of this ancient and eternal Irish ritual. Perhaps we, too, can all find a better way to deal with our mortality -- by living and loving as the Irish do.

Review

"The windswept Irish island of My Father''s Wake is one of the final remote outposts of true death engagement in the Western world. Toolis''s book is both memoir and anthropology, and serves as a refreshing counterpoint to the industrialized, for-profit death industry we''ve come to wrongly believe is our only option."--Caitlin Doughty, author of the New York Times bestsellers Smoke Gets in Your Eyes and From Here to Eternity


"As a boy, he learned to kiss the corpse at a traditional island wake. As a filmmaker and witness to death in many conflict zones around the world, Kevin Toolis has written a profound book on the culture of grief and death, placing the personal alongside the political in a vivid exploration of our ancient ways of coming together around the dead. This is a moving family story, a memoir of loss and exile, a deep understanding of what makes us alive, casting a cold eye on what is precious and so often denied."-- Hugo Hamilton



"A heartwarming and very personal account of a life well-lived." --Irish Times



"A gut-wrenching exploration of death from an Irish perspective...A fascinating view of what most of us try not to consider: the end of life...This book is not for the faint of heart, as the experiences [Toolis] shares will leave readers emotionally raw. It is unquestionably rewarding, however, a thought-provoking argument against a sterile and industrial view of death...Intimate, eye-opening."― Kirkus (starred review)

"[A] poetically written and heartfelt memoir."
Irish Voice

"An exceptionally personal and moving story."― BookPage

"In this stimulating and poignant narrative, Kevin Toolis armed with his Irish heritage gives a heart wrenching description of the death and wake of his father as he delves into the broader history, rituals, and meaning of the Irish wake...With an inspiring and refreshing message at its core, My Father''s Wake rejoices in the spiritual depth of the Irish views on mortality."― New York Journal of Books

"A book especially for St. Patrick''s Day, to be sure, but filled with powerful advice for every day."

WTBF Radio

"Visceral and profound."― New York Times Book Review

"Read Kevin''s book for a peek into the rites and rituals of an ancient past. My Father''s Wake teaches us that death does not need to be reinvented, we don''t need to find new ways...we need to uncover and rediscover the old ways."― The Order of the Good Death

A New York Times Book Review Editors'' Choice

"Syntax and word, rhythm and rite roll and surge in this tribute to a wordsmith''s dying father, Sonny-and to the neglected Irish practice of ''waking the dead''...A worthy read."― Englewood Review of Books

"At once heartwarming and horrifying."― Norfolk Virginian-Pilot

"A former war correspondent, Toolis has seen more than his fair share of death and is here to shake us out of our complacency."― Times Literary Supplement

"[Toolis] blends the realities of his real-world journalistic experiences of war, famine, natural disaster and death with an elegant overlay of the humanities and culture...His depiction of the ancient ritual of the wake and other customs is not sentimental, but an unflinching description of death, grief, and mourning...His description of the collective experience of his father''s death, wake and funeral are poetic and unforgettable...My Father''s Wake is a beautifully written work which deserves our attention. There are portions of this book which should be required reading for medical and nursing students."― Pallimed

"A powerful exploration of mortality, loss, and Western death denial."― Talk Death

About the Author

Kevin Toolis is a writer and BAFTA-winning filmmaker. The author of a celebrated chronicle of Ireland''s Troubles, Rebel Hearts: Journeys within the IRA''s Soul, he has written for the New York Times Magazine and the Guardian and reported on conflicts around the world. His family has lived in the same village on an island off the coast of County Mayo for the last two hundred years. Toolis makes his home on the island and in London.

Product information

Brief content visible, double tap to read full content.
Full content visible, double tap to read brief content.

Videos

Help others learn more about this product by uploading a video!
Upload video
Brief content visible, double tap to read full content.
Full content visible, double tap to read brief content.

Customers who bought this item also bought

Customer reviews

4.6 out of 54.6 out of 5
221 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

MRG
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
To Wake...to perhaps touch the very essence of life
Reviewed in the United States on August 5, 2019
As an American of Irish decent, I was initially drawn to this book because of how the Irish Wake their dead and wanting to understand the culture surrounding it. What I found was a deeply personal insight into not only the culture of the Wake, but of the author and his... See more
As an American of Irish decent, I was initially drawn to this book because of how the Irish Wake their dead and wanting to understand the culture surrounding it. What I found was a deeply personal insight into not only the culture of the Wake, but of the author and his experience dealing with death, dying, and surviving. Having my own experience with both my German maternal grandmother, and my own Irish-decent father dying at home, I was surprised that our family does a quasi wake not too dissimilar to the Irish way. It made the book more personal for me, and along with the vivid imagery, brought me to tears at times. In looking back at my dog-eared and pencil marked pages of his book, I was most moved by the bits of wisdom evoked by one that has truly experienced deep loss: Page 52 about compassion and frailties; page 99 regarding the emotion of the exiled and longing of home; page 105 about the eternal hope and uncertainty of organ transplants to stay alive, to make a bargain for life extended (my Father was a heart transplant recipient); the many pages searching for truth in death, in dealing with the anger raging inside for the loss of a parent or sibling; and finally on page 239, the acceptance of life and death...the sea offers the perfect setting to be at one with our thoughts and the deep wish to have our deceased loved one back...to go home. A quote about the sea comes to mind...“And the sea will grant each man new hope as sleep brings dreams of home.” ~Christopher Columbus (quoted at the end of the Hunt for Red October).
4 people found this helpful
Helpful
Report
Daniel Hanley
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
I love this book
Reviewed in the United States on June 4, 2018
My Irish roots drew me to this book and I am so glad I ordered it. The day I received it I started reading just to have a feel for it, thinking I would only read a few pages and get back to the other books I am reading while putting this in my cue. That didn''t happen. I... See more
My Irish roots drew me to this book and I am so glad I ordered it. The day I received it I started reading just to have a feel for it, thinking I would only read a few pages and get back to the other books I am reading while putting this in my cue. That didn''t happen. I couldn''t stop. Toolis''s description of home had me in tears. His stories of his family and his past, and especially his loss were what kept me wanting to read more. I am half-way finished and look forward to sharing this with my father and uncles. I''d also like to add that even though I was drawn to ordering this book because of my heritage, life, family and death are hardcore parts of each of us regardless of our heritage.
6 people found this helpful
Helpful
Report
Chapstickmom
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Really a book on taking care of each other as exemplified by the Irish Wake
Reviewed in the United States on September 3, 2018
Very intriguing book on how the Irish take care of the dead and dying and their families -who in turn do the same for them. It looks at the sense of community. At the sense of duty to those around you. The book has both tears and laughter in it. Reminded me of... See more
Very intriguing book on how the Irish take care of the dead and dying and their families -who in turn do the same for them. It looks at the sense of community. At the sense of duty to those around you.

The book has both tears and laughter in it. Reminded me of my own Mayo family. My Gran had my Dad buy long underwear to put on my Grandfather when he was buried so he wouldn''t be cold.

I highly recommend this book -not just to those of Irish heritage. This book has much to teach us and much for us to teach our children. Great read from a great writer.
3 people found this helpful
Helpful
Report
colleen mahaney
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A Must Read If You Have Or Will Experience Loss
Reviewed in the United States on July 18, 2019
This is a wonderful book. If you are Irish, Kevin Toolis uses words to paint a vivid picture of how your ancestors lived and died. If you are not Irish, you will get a glimpse of a very strong, proud, yet humble people who have much to teach about life and death. The... See more
This is a wonderful book. If you are Irish, Kevin Toolis uses words to paint a vivid picture of how your ancestors lived and died. If you are not Irish, you will get a glimpse of a very strong, proud, yet humble people who have much to teach about life and death. The stories of love and loss strike a chord with all of us and leave a profound impact on the reader.
Helpful
Report
William Wells
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Profound insight
Reviewed in the United States on May 4, 2021
I truly enjoyed this insightful sharing by Kevin Toolis. His experience with the death of his father and the way in which he and family, as well as the community at large helped each other is inspiring. I highly recommend this book to anyone.
Helpful
Report
Peggy O'connor
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A Must Read!
Reviewed in the United States on March 4, 2019
An expertly written history of the Irish people and their traditions. Kevin Toolis shares his personal experiences with the reader in an authentic narrative. His descriptive writing transports the reader to that time and place in vivid detail and makes you feel part of... See more
An expertly written history of the Irish people and their traditions. Kevin Toolis shares his personal experiences with the reader in an authentic narrative. His descriptive writing transports the reader to that time and place in vivid detail and makes you feel part of the events. It combines history and current events to enlighten the reader with the deep meaning of many Irish customs their proud heritage.
One person found this helpful
Helpful
Report
Laurentx
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Gorgeous writing
Reviewed in the United States on August 2, 2021
Life, death, memory and Ireland - what’s not to love? Profound without being too heavy. You don’t dash through this book.
Helpful
Report
kfor24
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Fascinating
Reviewed in the United States on April 26, 2018
Loved reading about Irish wakes and what we are missing here in the USA as the long transplanted descendants. Recommend this one to all the far-flung Irish.
2 people found this helpful
Helpful
Report

Top reviews from other countries

MR P MCFADDEN
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
As a child, I always knew Irish death was ...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 21, 2017
As a child, I always knew Irish death was different. I first learned this at the age of 14 when my Irish dad died in Glasgow. From the moment word went out that he was gone, our house filled up with friends, relatives, people we – and he – hadn’t seen for years. They came...See more
As a child, I always knew Irish death was different. I first learned this at the age of 14 when my Irish dad died in Glasgow. From the moment word went out that he was gone, our house filled up with friends, relatives, people we – and he – hadn’t seen for years. They came to see both us and him, for he was laid out in a coffin in the living room. My first sight, and touch, of a dead body. As a naïve teenager at the time I wondered “why are all these people coming now when he hadn’t seen many of them for a long time”. But I didn’t understand then what I do now, that this payment of last respects, this waking the dead, seeing the family, sitting with them and with their departed friend, shaking hands, saying “sorry for your trouble” is a vital and comforting part of saying goodbye. In later years, as other relatives passed away, I went to many more Irish wakes. A few years ago my determinedly secular friend, Des, died in London. We had what I suspect may be a growing trend – an Irish wake without the religion. There Des was, laid out in a wicker coffin in his living room in Finsbury Park as his wife, family and friends gathered round with no priest in sight. Yet still, without prayer, we observed the ritual. Still we gathered, touched his head, sat with him, told stories about him and said goodbye to him. Kevin Toolis’s book, My Father’s Wake, explains these ancient Irish traditions through the lens of the death of his own father, Sonny, in Dookinella on Achill Island – Ireland’s most westerly point. Here, Europe stops and there is nothing between the last mountains, the wild Atlantic Ocean and America. The book is a hymn of praise for this tradition, the openness, the collective grieving, seeing and touching the body, neighbours and friends coming together, sitting with the body in the quiet of the night, paying respects. All of us must face death. All of us must grow from children to adults. In that passage of time, that coming to terms, is the story of life, of the changes we see and, in growing, understand. The book’s argument in the end is that facing death in the Irish way will help us come to terms with own mortality and appreciate life all the more.
23 people found this helpful
Report
Alison Kelly
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A Book For Life
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 10, 2017
Kevin Toolis has written a book that everyone needs to read: the entrenched avoidance of discussing death is such an unhealthy trait in western social mores, something I only discovered when my own father died twenty years ago. People would rather cross the road than try...See more
Kevin Toolis has written a book that everyone needs to read: the entrenched avoidance of discussing death is such an unhealthy trait in western social mores, something I only discovered when my own father died twenty years ago. People would rather cross the road than try and find something to say to the recently bereaved. It''s seen as acceptable to protect yourself by saying nothing, rather than grasping the nettle, possibly saying the wrong thing, but more likely, connecting with someone whose life is fragmenting like a globally-warmed iceberg. This beautifully written book casts a bit of a spell really; because the Irish know about emotion, about the readiness of warm feelings that lie near the surface, and about connection. The writing is compelling, which is interesting, because there isn''t a ''story'' here in terms of narrative; yet the sense of concentrated involvement with the next word, the next sentence, the next chapter, has you hanging on every syllable. I read it once already, but I think it will be a much-thumbed volume in the coming years; and it certainly has taught me something about how to face death. There''s plenty of self-help books out there; but this is the one we all need.
19 people found this helpful
Report
William Cohen
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A plea for a proper understanding of our own mortality
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 10, 2018
I organise the Ideal Death Show, and this book seems to be part of a wave of laments for the passing of the Irish wake. I picked it up after reading The Way We Die Now by an Irish surgeon Seamus O''Mahony. He too underlined how the wake was a ritual that helped to process...See more
I organise the Ideal Death Show, and this book seems to be part of a wave of laments for the passing of the Irish wake. I picked it up after reading The Way We Die Now by an Irish surgeon Seamus O''Mahony. He too underlined how the wake was a ritual that helped to process the emotions around death. Toolis and O''Mahony questions the ''medicalisation'' of death - the grotesque assaults on the body when really death is imminent or the requisition of the body by ''the authorities'', thus depriving the families of raw contact with the deceased. A psychological trauma''s experienced by Toolis forced him to wrestle with his own mortality. It took him to some of the world''s worst trouble spots and drove him to explore gruesome human situations. It was only by experiencing his father''s wake that he began a process of understanding himself and making peace with his quest. It''s a compelling read. Toolis challenges modern attitudes to death and suggests alternatives. Only through community and shared pain can we overcome the inescapable griefs of the human condition.
5 people found this helpful
Report
Tom O'Dowd
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A challenging an beautiful book.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 26, 2018
As a medic I Have seen a lot of bad death and its recurring trauma that become evident at anniversaries, birthdays etc. This is a love letter to his brother Bernard who died too young. It set Toolis on a journey of many of the trouble spots of the world and gave him the...See more
As a medic I Have seen a lot of bad death and its recurring trauma that become evident at anniversaries, birthdays etc. This is a love letter to his brother Bernard who died too young. It set Toolis on a journey of many of the trouble spots of the world and gave him the hardness to ask intimate questions within minutes of meeting the bereaved. It is also a meditation on his father’s death which was so diffferent from what he had experienced. Full of ancient ritual that sees life as part of death. At times unbearably sad and others laugh out loud - his attendance as a young testosterone filled youth at his first wake is very funny. Oh how I wish I had read it years ago and I will recommend it to colleagues. A challenging and wonderful work.
7 people found this helpful
Report
Mary Collier
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Brilliant read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 6, 2018
Absolutely love this book it reminds me so much of my childhood in Ireland and how we deal with death to this day. Living abroad by choice I love stories of my homeland and this one definately did not disappoint. I highly recommend it to anyone. You won’t have to be of...See more
Absolutely love this book it reminds me so much of my childhood in Ireland and how we deal with death to this day. Living abroad by choice I love stories of my homeland and this one definately did not disappoint. I highly recommend it to anyone. You won’t have to be of irish decent to enjoy this book. A great Insite in to the culture.
3 people found this helpful
Report
See all reviews
Brief content visible, double tap to read full content.
Full content visible, double tap to read brief content.

Customers who viewed this item also viewed

Brief content visible, double tap to read full content.
Full content visible, double tap to read brief content.

What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?

My outlet sale Father's Wake: How outlet online sale the Irish Teach Us to Live, Love, and Die outlet sale

My outlet sale Father's Wake: How outlet online sale the Irish Teach Us to Live, Love, and Die outlet sale

My outlet sale Father's Wake: How outlet online sale the Irish Teach Us to Live, Love, and Die outlet sale

My outlet sale Father's Wake: How outlet online sale the Irish Teach Us to Live, Love, and Die outlet sale

My outlet sale Father's Wake: How outlet online sale the Irish Teach Us to Live, Love, and Die outlet sale

My outlet sale Father's Wake: How outlet online sale the Irish Teach Us to Live, Love, and Die outlet sale

My outlet sale Father's Wake: How outlet online sale the Irish Teach Us to Live, Love, and Die outlet sale

My outlet sale Father's Wake: How outlet online sale the Irish Teach Us to Live, Love, and Die outlet sale

My outlet sale Father's Wake: How outlet online sale the Irish Teach Us to Live, Love, and Die outlet sale