The Long Play

PODCAST: Casey Jarman Talks Death, Grief, and Randy Newman

The Portlander has just published his first book, Death: An Oral History, which includes interviews with a death row warden, a scientist who advocates for "the psychedelic hospice," and his own mom.

By Rebecca Jacobson November 7, 2016

Casey Jarman has spent a lot of time talking about death. The local writer (and Portland Monthly contributor) has just published his first book, Death: An Oral History. It's an expansive set of interviews—with a death row warden, a funeral industry watchdog, cartoonist Art Spiegelman, Jarman's own mother, and many others—about the end of life. As Jarman notes in the book's introduction, he's not been closely affected by death. Instead, he tackled the project "in the hopes of beating death altogether." So: why did he want to beat death? And did he succeed?

On this episode of The Long Play, Jarman discusses the euphemistic language of death, whether he would want his body to be composted, how psychedelics could assist us in our final weeks, and the tunes on his death-themed playlist.

Download the Long Play on iTunes.

Audio production by Samala Coffey

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