Tag Archives: celebrities

Death Never Dies: Mourning 2020 Through the Lives and Deaths of Public Figures by Lee Fearnside 

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

Author Lee Fearnside takes readers on an emotional and insightful journey into how celebrity deaths impact the public and what it means to remember them and say goodbye to them in the book, “Death Never Dies: Mourning 2020 Through the Lives and Deaths of Public Figures”.

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The Synopsis

This anthology mourns 27 public figures who died in 2020 with essays and poetry by 40 writers paired with relief print portraits. Some may have been celebrities for decades, while others found international attention through their deaths, but all shaped our perception of our world. The public figures mourned range from Eddie Van Halen to Ellis Marsalis Jr., George Floyd to Jim Lehrer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg to Kobe Bryant.

Contributing writers include poets laureate, a screenwriter, playwrights, artists, educators, activists, journalists, a chef, and storytellers.

Mourning celebrities may be a way to mourn something larger. We don’t know these people, after all, but they often have significance in our lives. By reflecting on people through words and images, this project asks who and what do we want to say goodbye to, and who and what do we want to remember. Together, these images and words help us understand our relationships to each other and to ourselves during this tumultuous year.

The Review

This is such an insightful and engaging read. The interesting aspect of this book is how the author brought together so many different writers to add their voices to the cacophony of emotions and powerful writing that inhabits this collection. The study of celebrities and public figures is so inherently fascinating and investing in our modern age when news and gossip are available at the touch of a button instantly now. 

When a well-known public figure who has had an impact either purposely or inadvertently on our lives passes away, we feel that loss deeply. For me, one loss, in particular, hit hard in 2020, and that was Chadwick Boseman. The actor had become an icon for so many people around the world as the actor behind King T’Challa, aka The Black Panther of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. 

While I connected to him as a fan of the comics, I could feel and recognize the emotional and inspiring impact he had on so many in the Black community around the world, and to see him go at such a young age was heartbreaking. Reading the heartfelt and emotional poetry and essays that so many writers put into this person’s life and death was incredibly moving, and really highlighted the impact those in the spotlight can have on us all personally.

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The Verdict

A truly gripping, moving, and engaging read, author Lee Fearnside’s “Death Never Dies” is a must-read, non-fiction collection of fantastic writers and emotional writing overall. Accompanied by some truly vivid and awesome artwork of the late celebrities and figures, getting to see how these figures impacted people not only on a global scale and the social movements some of them represented, but how the personal impacts on each writer’s individual lives were so eloquently represented in the book was inspiring and really touched upon the human experience overall. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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O! Relentless Death: Celebrity, Loss And A Year Of Mourning by Lee and Andrew Fernside Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

An emotional and reflective collection of essays, poetry and more bring the lives of celebrities lost in 2018 to the forefront in authors Lee and Andrew Fernside’s “O! Relentless Death: Celebrity, Loss and a Year of Mourning”. 

The Synopsis

O! Relentless Death: Celebrity, Loss and Mourning is an artists book created by siblings Andrew and Lee Fearnside. This book mourns celebrities who died in 2016: David Bowie, Prince, Carrie Fisher, Gwen Ifill, Alan Rickman and 11 more. Relief print portraits are paired with personal narratives by 23 writers from around the country, including poet laureates, journalists, community organizers, professors and activists. Winner of the 2018 IPPY Independent Voice Award.

The Review

This was a beautifully written collection. The illustrations and personal connection felt between the authors and those the world lost in 2018 was felt immensely. Showcasing the way these celebrities and influential people impacted the authors highlights how those in the public eye have more influence and connections to the world at large than anyone truly realizes. 

Normally these reviews are focused solely on the book itself, but in order to perfectly capture the book’s emotional connection with readers, it’s only fitting to mention the personal connection I had as a reader with the book. 

The two chapters that spoke to me the most involved Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds. This year, as many of you know, I lost my grandmother on my mom’s side, whom I was really close to. Six years or so before that we lost my grandfather on my mom’s side, and so it has been a heartbreaking year personally. However one thing that always makes me feel close to them is Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds.

My father was a carpet installer for his entire life, and one of the clients he worked for was Debbie Reynolds. As he was working, Carrie Fisher as a young child jumped onto his shoulders and asked for a piggy-back ride. Debbie Reynolds apologized but he laughed and obliged, and the young Carrie Fisher got her wish. Personal stories like that have always made me feel connected to my wonderful grandparents, and these two chapters opened up those emotions wholeheartedly, showcasing the author’s powerful approach to the topics as a whole.

The Verdict

This is a must read novel of 2019. While these celebrities hail from 2018, the message and impact of those losses resonates still as 2019 comes to a close. An emotional journey to discover how people as a whole impact our lives and the journey to come to terms with their loss. A beautiful way to honor and keep these memories in our hearts, be sure to grab “O! Relentless Death: Celebrity, Loss and a Year of Mourning” by Lee and Andrew Fernside today!

Rating: 10/10

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