In this beautiful, haunted book, the author’s granddaddy asks her as a child, “But what could I do?” The grown child says, “He asks as if I referee.” The child that survives catastrophic family history inevitably feels that she is a referee. The combatants are gone and were, always, not only powerful but unreadable. This child’s mind, facing a harrowing present and harrowing past, turns to a paradigm that she was given in the third grade: the Egyptian Book of the Dead. The ancient paradigm gives dignity and density to the tragedy of her parents’ lives. Litany, the insistent search for truth amid bewildering fragments, is what the survivor can perform to release, if not to save, the past. This is a superb book.” —Frank Bidart
Sandy Tilcock, proprietor of lone goose press, and author Catherine Woodard collaboratively designed Opening the Mouth of the Dead. A mezzotint by Perri Blitz was scanned for the cover. Artist MargotVoorhies Thompson provided drawings for the artwork and grace notes that appear in the book. Types are: Egyptienne for text and Post Antiqua for display.
For a listing of Catherine’s readings and appearances, visit catherinewoodard.com.