Last week novelist Timothy Schaffert spoke with Kurt Andersen about his new novel, The Coffins of Little Hope. The narrator is the 83-year old obituary writer of a small-town newspaper in Nebraska. As Schaffert said, the obituaries page in a small town "was where the drama was."
Inspired, we asked you to provide the first sentence to your own obituary. Schaffert himself responded to the challenge: "He only faked his death, and is living comfortably in an exotic locale." The responses – humorous, whimsical, and poignant – rolled in, and we asked the authors of our favorites to read them.
ONE-LINE OBITUARIESWe received lots of great one-line obituaries from our listeners. Some of our favorites are below.
Rodger Reid from New Preston, CT Rodger has spent his whole life working toward this moment.
Susan Champlin from New York, NY Everyone said she was nice, but they didn't know her that well.
Kim Dale from Chicago, IL She disliked children until she had her own, who she loved so much she trembled.
Leon Zitzer from New York, NY Rumble, young Jew-boy, rumble.
Tilly Gokbudak from Roanoke, VA His father died on his thirteenth birthday on March 4, 1983, but Tilly Gokbudak somehow managed to live a happy and productive life anyway.
Rich Kelley from Brooklyn, NY His jokes seem a lot funnier now that he's gone.
Ginger Chamberlain from Alexandria, Virginia Ginger's family invites all to come raise a glass to say we will miss her terribly or thank goodness she's gone.