PENGUIN BOOKSHOP WRITERS SERIES 2018 LAUNCH WITH DAVID GIFFELS!! acclaimed author of The Hard Way on Purpose, talks about
THE ART OF MEMOIR and his new book, FURNISHING ETERNITY:
“Is it possible to write about the death of your mother, the death of your best friend, the coming death of your father and the inevitable death of yourself in a context that's both honest and lighthearted? Only if you are David Giffels, and only if you also include some practical information about woodworking. This book is like a Randy Newman song.”
—Chuck Klosterman, New York Times bestselling author of But What if We're Wrong?
This heartfelt and often surprising memoir by David Giffels (acclaimed author of The Hard Way on Purpose) is the story of a year brought down by loss, a family finding hope in its roots, and the unexpected epiphanies to be found in the things we build.
David Giffels grew up fascinated by his father’s dusty, tool-strewn workshop and the countless creations—both practical and fantastical—it inspired. So when he enlisted his eighty-one-year-old dad for the unusual project of building his own casket, he thought of it mostly as a way to learn and to spend time together. Life had other plans.
The unexpected death of his mother and, a year later, of his best friend—coupled with turning fifty and the growing realization that his father won’t always be around for such offbeat adventures—led Giffels to a harsh confrontation with mortality and loss.
Over the course of several seasons, Giffels returns to his father’s barn in the country, a place cluttered with heirloom tools, exotic wood scraps and long memory, to continue a pursuit that grows into a meditation on grief and optimism, the pleasures of woodcraft, a quest for wisdom, and a way to cherish time with an aging parent.