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The Resource Furnishing eternity : a father, a son, a coffin, and a measure of life, David Giffels

Furnishing eternity : a father, a son, a coffin, and a measure of life, David Giffels

Label
Furnishing eternity : a father, a son, a coffin, and a measure of life
Title
Furnishing eternity
Title remainder
a father, a son, a coffin, and a measure of life
Statement of responsibility
David Giffels
Creator
Author
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
"A vibrant, heartfelt memoir about confronting mortality, surviving loss, finding resilience in one's Midwest roots and seeking a father's wisdom through an unusual woodworking project--constructing his own coffin." -- Amazon.com
Tone
Review
  • Father and son bond over a lugubrious building project in this sweetly mordant saga of death and carpentry. Healthy but motivated by dark whimsy and his looming 50th birthday, essayist Giffels (The Hard Way on Purpose) decided to build his own coffin with the help of his father, Thomas, an 81-year-old engineer with boundless energy and a head for design. The process unfolds as a quirky ode to the art of woodworking, as the duo savor odd bits of wood, pore over blueprints, and merge into the flow of routing and planing in the sacred space of the workshop. As the project develops, death intrudes in earnest and Giffels must deal with the deaths of his vibrant mother and his best friend, John, a corporate executive with a secret life as a bon vivant, connoisseur of underground rock bands, and avant-garde artist (he called his gallery show Pipefitters, Porn and PBR)—and with Thomas’s cancer diagnosis. Giffels treats these heavy themes with a light touch and deadpan humor, drawing vivid, affectionate portraits of loved ones in the richly textured setting of Akron, Ohio. The result is an entertaining memoir that moves through gentle absurdism to a poignant meditation on death and what comes before it. Agent: Daniel Greenberg, Levine, Greenberg, Rostan. (Jan.) --Staff (Reviewed 11/20/2017) (Publishers Weekly, vol 264, issue 47, p)
  • A middle-age man and his father bond over the building of the son's coffin.<br><br>Giffels (English and Creative Nonfiction/Univ. of Akron; <i>The Hard Way on Purpose: Essays and Dispatches from the Rust Belt</i>, 2014, etc.) has written for a wide variety of publications, including the <i>Wall Street Journal</i>, the <i>New York Times Magazine</i>, <i>Grantland</i>, and <i>Beavis and Butt-Head</i> (an association that he illuminates in these pages). However, in this highly personal book, he casts himself as very much his father's son, a can-do man of the Midwest, someone who is happiest when he is busy with some sort of project. The author calls it " ‘the family disease.' A restlessness, a compulsion to keep doing things, doing new things and newer things yet, a discomfort with comfort." So he and his father decided to build a coffin together—but not one for the father, an 81-year-old widower whose own life had been threatened by cancer. They built one for the author, who was in no immediate need of one, except perhaps for literary purposes and for the need to finish the project before his father died. "One of my goals with this endeavor was to learn from him—practical skills and hopefully more," writes Giffels. "Whatever he would allow. And just to have reason to spend extra time with him." Intimations of mortality intensified as the author lost his best friend to cancer, shortly following the death of the author's mother, which had blindsided him. "Grief," he writes, "has a way of becoming about everything in one's daily existence….Everything bathed in the sadness of loss." So, in addition to providing a bonding opportunity with his father, the coffin became a way of dealing with grief and with mortality.<br><br>A lifetime's worth of workbench philosophy in a heartfelt memoir about the connection between a father and son.(Kirkus Reviews, October 15, 2017)
Biography type
contains biographical information
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10616247
Cataloging source
JAI
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Giffels, David
Dewey number
306.8742
Illustrations
illustrations
Index
no index present
Literary form
non fiction
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Giffels, David
  • Fathers and sons
  • Mortality
http://bibfra.me/vocab/lite/titleRemainder
a father, a son, a coffin, and a measure of life
Label
Furnishing eternity : a father, a son, a coffin, and a measure of life, David Giffels
Instantiates
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
1902752
Dimensions
22 cm
Edition
First Scribner hardcover edition.
Extent
243 pages
Isbn
9781501105944
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other physical details
illustrations
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9781501105944
  • (OCoLC)1017488964
Label
Furnishing eternity : a father, a son, a coffin, and a measure of life, David Giffels
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
1902752
Dimensions
22 cm
Edition
First Scribner hardcover edition.
Extent
243 pages
Isbn
9781501105944
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other physical details
illustrations
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9781501105944
  • (OCoLC)1017488964

Library Locations

    • Central LibraryBorrow it
      710 W. Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX, 78701, US
      30.2713021 -97.7460168
    • Willie Mae Kirk BranchBorrow it
      3101 Oak Springs Dr., Austin, TX, 78723, US
      30.2729762 -97.699748
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