- This event has passed.
Good Grief with author E.B. Bartels and Cat Warren
August 3 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Join E.B. Bartels, author of the new book, Good Grief: On Loving Pets Here and Hereafter in conversation with Cat Warren, who works with cadaver dogs to find the missing and the dead, as they discuss the many ways animals help us in life and death, and how the world mourns and memorialize pets.
While we have codified traditions to mark the passing of our fellow humans, most cultures don’t have the same for pets. Bartels takes us from Massachusetts to Japan, from ancient Egypt to the modern era, in search of the good pet death. We meet veterinarians, archaeologists, ministers, and more, offering an idiosyncratic, inspiring array of rituals—from the traditional (scattering ashes, commissioning a portrait), to the grand (funereal processions, mausoleums), to the unexpected (taxidermy, cloning). The central lesson: there is no best practice when it comes to mourning your pet, except to care for them in death as you did in life, and find the space to participate in their end as fully as you can.
About the Speakers
E.B. Bartels is a writer, editor, and teacher from Massachusetts. She holds a BA in Russian from Wellesley College and an MFA in creative nonfiction from Columbia University’s School of the Arts.
Her nonfiction has appeared in Catapult, Electric Literature, The Believer Logger, The Rumpus, The Millions, The Toast, The Butter, Entropy, FullStop, Ploughshares online, and the anthology The Places We’ve Been: Field Reports from Travelers Under 35, among others. She is a regular performer in Mortified, and her flash nonfiction piece “Vulnerable” was the winner of the 2018 Eldridge Tide & Pilot Book Story Contest. She also writes the monthly column Non-Fiction by Non-Men for Fiction Advocate, in which she interviews women and non-binary people who write nonfiction.
Good Grief: On Loving Pets, Here and Hereafter, E.B.’s narrative nonfiction book about the world of loving and losing animals, exploring the singular nature of our bonds with our companion animals, and how best to grieve for them once they’ve passed away, is forthcoming from Mariner Books on August 2, 2022.
E.B. is an instructor at the creative writing center GrubStreet, the Wellesley Writes It editor for Wellesley Underground, and an on-again-off-again bookseller at Newtonville Books. In addition to writing, E.B. also works as a freelance editor, a manuscript consultant, a writing coach, a tutor, and a senior editorial writer in the communications and public affairs department at Wellesley College. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband, Richie, and their many, many pets: Terrence (tortoise), Seymour (dog), Bert, Dan, and Murray (pigeons), and assorted fish and shrimp.
Cat Warren is the author of the New York Times bestselling book What the Dog Knows: Scent, Science, and the Amazing Ways Dogs Perceive the World. In it, she tells the story of learning to harness her German shepherd Solo’s boundless energy and enthusiasm. Solo became a cadaver dog, or human remains detection (HRD) dog. What the Dog Knows is a firsthand exploration of the extraordinary abilities and surprising, sometimes life-saving talents of “working dogs”—canines who can sniff out drugs, find explosives, and even locate the missing and dead. The New York Times calls the book “a fascinating, deeply reported journey into the…amazing things dogs can do with their noses. But it’s also a moving story of how one woman transformed her troubled dog into a loving companion and an asset to society, all while stumbling on the beauty of life in their searches for death.” It was long listed for the PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers published her adaptation of that book in October 2019. Cat recently retired as a professor at North Carolina State University, where she taught science journalism, editing, and creative nonfiction. Cat is currently working with archaeologists, human remains detection dog handlers, historians, and activists on research and projects to locate and protect historic burial grounds in the Southeast United States.