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Exit Laughing

by Victoria Zackheim

Exit Laughing is more than a collection of twenty-four personal stories, written by some of our country's finest authors, on the subject of death and humor. It's a reminder that all of us approach death in very different ways. Whether we face our death or the death of a loved one with fear, sorrow, joy, or confusion, and whether or not we believe in an afterlife, we cannot deny that death happens. Exit Laughing reminds us that in death there is a place for humor. Ellen Sussman writes of flying home her mother's body and watching her mother's burial wardrobe spill out on the baggage carousel. Kathi Kamen Goldmark regales us with memories of playing the kazoo at Jessica Mitford's funeral. Broadway and television actor Richard McKenzie shares the riotous story of a funeral procession led by a lost hearse. Bonnie Garvin writes about her parents' double suicide attempt (and yes, it's funny!). Joshua Braff recalls a death in an upstairs bedroom during his childhood, Roadrunner cartoons included. L.A. Law star and author Michael Tucker describes his last visit with his dying friend, Cleavon Little, and how they said goodbye. International bestselling novelist Jacquelyn Mitchard writes about her husband's untimely death, and how his three best friends ended up held in a psychiatric hospital after the wake. These stories, along with seventeen other memorable essays, constitute a book whose purpose is to remind readers that when dealing with illness, dying, and death, there is an important place for laugh-out-loud humor.

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