When I decided at Goucher College that I was going to write my thesis about people who worked with death, the first thing that classmates asked was "Have you read Stiff by Mary Roach?" Inside my head, I was like "Have you met me? I'm kind of a wimp when it comes to all things death related" but my outside voice said, "No, but I intend to."
When you decide to take on a subject like death and you haven't had much personal experience with it, you read. I read many books on death and, well, they were kind of depressing. But then I read "Stiff." And let me tell you, I was like Mary Roach where have you been all my life? I laughed, and I'm talking out LOUD. Up until that point, nobody but David Sedaris could make me laugh with a book in my hand. So I sent her an email to let her know that she officially kicked his ass. And she responded within minutes, cementing my adoration for her. (I still love you David. Let's have coffee some time! In France. With pastries.)
Well, that was a couple of years ago and last week I sent her another email to see if she'd talk to me right here on this blog. And she said YES! How cool is that?
Mary Roach has written four wonderfully fun and informative nonfiction books about cadavers, the afterlife, sex and space. Her newest book, "Gulp" (And no, it's not about the Big Gulp at 7/11) is coming out in 2013. I talked to her on Saturday, May 12, 2012. You can listen to our chat right down there. Just keep in mind that I do not have the mad radio interviewing skills of someone like Terry Gross. There's giggling, some death talk, a little writer stuff and we end with a discussion of our mutual love of tacos in San Francisco. Enjoy!