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NPR: Books We Love 2023

Nov 19, 2023

NPR Chooses "What the Dead Know: Learning About Life as a New York City Death Investigator"

What the Dead Know is Barbara Butcher’s memoir about her career as a death investigator in Manhattan (she was the first woman to hold the job for longer than a few months). Homicide, suicide, accident or natural – it was her job to figure out how people died but also, as she writes in the book, how they lived. The story takes an emotional turn when, after 9/11, it became Butcher’s job to identify the remains of people who died that day. While it may sound bleak, reading this memoir is like watching an episode of CSI with your dry, brassy best friend. And, yes, she has heard all the jokes about her last name.

Samantha Balaban, producer, Weekend Edition

NPR : Books We Love

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