Suspended Animation by Frank Gonzalez-Crussi
Six Essays on the Preservation of Bodily Parts

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Synopsis

“Six beautifully wrought meditations on the art of embalming and related matters…. Dr. Gonzalez–Crussi’s tone is measured, grave, and curiously formal … [with] a mordant sense of humor … and [a] courtliness and peculiar charm of his rococo style … muscular dandyism as well as his sly and faintly risqué humor….”

“[He] is learned, compassionate, genuinely witty and, at the most unexpected moments, strangely moving…. His learning, his diligence, his lively curiosity, together make a formidable lens that he brings to bear upon the enigma of what we are and how we cease to be…”

“[He] has delivered a missive that, though the envelope may give off a whiff of formalin, is in its essence a love letter to life, in all its strangeness, beauty, and mystery.” —John Banville, The New York Times Book Review

“More graceful, erudite, and mind–expanding essays from Gonzalez–Crussi, this time accompanied by haunting, beautiful color photographs of skeletons, skulls, medical specimens, and anatomical models. In writing that smoothly integrates medical science, history, philosophy, literature, and the arts, Gonzalez–Crussi ponders the human condition…. The opening of a Gonzalez–Crussi essay gives few hints as to where it may wander, but the journey is always rewarding.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Gonzalez–Crussi … weaves and bobs around monstrosity and death like a python about its victim—and he is nearly as mesmerizing.” —Publishers Weekly

 

About Frank Gonzalez-Crussi

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F. Gonzalez-Crussi is currently Professor Emeritus of Pathology at Northwestern University Medical School. He is the author, most recently, of "On Seeing: Things Seen, Unseen, and Obscene. "His other books include "Notes of an Anatomist, The Five Senses "(a "Los Angeles Times "Book Prize nominee), "Suspended Animation "(a "New York Times "Notable Book), "The Day of the Dead, "and "On Being Born and Other Difficulties. "He has been described by Oliver Sacks as reminding one of "nothing so much as Sir Thomas Browne, oddly admixed with a medical Borges."
 
Published November 1, 1995 by Mariner Books. 151 pages
Genres: Education & Reference, Professional & Technical, Science & Math. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Suspended Animation

Kirkus Reviews

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More graceful, erudite, and mind-expanding essays from Gonzalez-Crussi (Pathology/ Children's Memorial Hospital, Northwestern Univ.;

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Publishers Weekly

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In this series of six essays, he chronicles, with what appears to be resigned detachment, absurd human death rituals (e.g., the baptism of bits of miscarried embryos) and the enthusiasm for torture and death often found in ``genteel'' cultures (e.g., the carnival atmosphere of 17th-century anatom...

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