There are no simple or easy ways to approach a theme as potentially uncomfortable as death, but in a new book, just released by Signature Books, Mormon writers broach the subject in forty-six brief yet thoughtful essays. Edited by Stephen Carter, Moth & Rust: Mormon Encounters with Death touches on an often taboo topic that affects everyone. Carter notes that the diversity of viewpoints and perspectives, not to mention approach, assures readers “that this book runs the gamut of funny to heartbreaking.”
Moth & Rust is divided into five sections. “Passages” contains personal essays on the deaths of loved ones; “Piercing the Veil” speculates on the souls of the departed. In “Fleeting,” authors recount the painful experiences of losing children. “A Wider View” tackles death from various contexts. Rounding out the volume, “A Single Soul” provide glimpses into the effects of death upon the authors themselves.
In addition to Carter’s own story, “Last Song,” the book includes “Geoffery, Silent,” by Phyllis Barber, “Common Grief,” by M. Shayne Bell, “Two Poems,” by Gary James Bergera, and “Letting Mom Go,” by Jack Harrell. Other contributors include the late Eloise Bell and Eugene England, as well as Adam S. Miller, David G. Pace, Steven L. Peck, Eric Samuelsen, and thirty-five others.
Moth & Rust may cause readers to laugh, cry, or both, but, more importantly, to think. The 257-page volume retails for $23.95 and is available in stores and on Kindle on October 30.
Stephen Carter is editor of Sunstone magazine, author of Mormonism for Beginners, and is a collaborator for the graphic novel series iPlates.