Death’s Garden contributor: George Neville-Neil

Death’s Garden contributor: George Neville-Neil

Death’s Garden contributor: George Neville-Neil

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Death’s Garden contributor: George Neville-Neil

George Neville-Neil was friends with my roommate, before I met him myself, way back in the day. Over the next 10 years, I invited George to write several essays for Morbid Curiosity magazine. I’ll always be grateful that he read one of them at the initial Morbid Curiosity release party in November 1998.

Officially, George Neville-Neil is a quiet Irish boy trapped in the body of a Jewish anarchist. He’s written about finding his landlord dead, getting tested for AIDS, cruising, and anarchy in Père Lachaise for Morbid Curiosity magazine. I reprinted the essay about his landlord in Morbid Curiosity Cures the Blues: True Tales of the Unsavory, Unwise, Unorthodox, and Unusual.

George’s essay “Communing with the Dead” was initially published in Morbid Curiosity #6. It’s been updated for Death’s Garden Revisited.

I asked him my cemetery questions:

What’s your favorite thing to do in a cemetery?

There are two wonderful things about cemeteries. The first is that they are quiet places to walk and relax, so a walk in a cemetery is one of the things I enjoy most. The second is that you get to watch people — and not simply people grieving. You see how they react and commune with the dead.

Tell me about your favorite cemetery.

Pere Lachaise is a cemetery in Paris which is, alas, most infamous for having Jim Morrison’s grave — which has been a constant eyesore and source of controversy. Far from this area are the parts that I wrote about in my “Communing with the Dead” essay, which talks about the political memorials within the cemetery, including monuments to the Paris Communards, those killed by the Nazis in World War 2, as well as more recent atrocities such as Rwanda. It’s the only cemetery I know of that mixes the personal with the political. That’s the reason that I say it is my favorite.

Is there a cemetery or gravesite you’ve always wanted to visit?

Not in particular. I prefer to come upon them at random, usually during a long walk.

Do you have a favorite cemetery song to add to the playlist?

The nice thing about cemeteries? They’re quiet. I really love that aspect, so a song isn’t something I’d associate with them.

What would your epitaph be?

I hope I had a good time getting here.

You can treat yourself to a copy of Death’s Garden Revisited:

  • in fully illustrated paperback or hardcover on Blurb.com
  • in hardcover from Etsy
  • or as a color ebook for your kindle on Amazon.

You can also download a free copy of the Reader’s Guide from Bookfunnel. It includes discussion/contemplation questions, an interview with the editor, and a game to introduce readers to cemetery symbolism and encourage them to visit.

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Hi, I’m Steven, a Florida native, who left my career in corporate wealth management six years ago to embark on a summer of soul searching that would change the course of my life forever.

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