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Roadside Crosses in Contemporary Memorial Culture [Hardcover]

Holly Everett

Price: CDN$ 25.16 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Book Description

Sept. 11 2002
A fifteen-year-old high school cheerleader is killed while driving on a dangerous curve one afternoon. By that night, her classmates have erected a roadside cross decorated with silk flowers, not as a grim warning, but as a loving memorial. In this study of roadside crosses, the first of its kind, Holly Everett presents the history of these unique commemoratives and their relationship to contemporary memorial culture. The meaning of these markers is presented in the words of grieving parents, high school students, public officials, and private individuals whom the author interviewed during her fieldwork in Texas. Everett documents more than thirty-five memorial sites with twenty-five photographs representing the wide range of creativity. Examining the complex interplay of politics, culture, and belief, she emphasizes the importance of religious expression in everyday life and analyzes responses to death that this tradition creates. Roadside crosses are a meeting place for communication, remembrance, and reflection, embodying ongoing relationships between the living and the dead. They are a bridge between personal and communal pain_and one of the oldest forms of memorial culture. Scholars in folklore, American studies, cultural geography, cultural/social history, and material culture studies will be especially interested in this study.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 145 pages
  • Publisher: Univ of North Texas Pr; 1 edition (Sept. 11 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1574411500
  • ISBN-13: 978-1574411508
  • Product Dimensions: 22.8 x 15.1 x 1.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 340 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #925,836 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Everyone sees them-roadside shrines that are spontaneously erected to commemorate a highway death or fatal accident. In this short but perceptive academic study, Everett outlines the multiple purposes of erecting a roadside shrine: it helps friends, relatives and strangers cope with their sudden loss; serves as a meeting place for the bereft; calls public attention to the death; and communicates a "grim warning" to other motorists. Everett's study is narrow; she examines only Christian artifacts and shrines, and her primary research was conducted entirely in Texas. However, as she notes, there is a certain universality to these roadside memorials, which spring up all across the country with a ghostly familiarity. Everett's book will be esteemed by academics and folklorists who specialize in material culture, but also by general readers who are able to look beyond scholarly references. Twenty-five b&w photos demonstrate some of the crosses and shrines discussed in the book.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

HOLLY EVERETT lived in Texas for twenty-eight years before moving to Newfoundland, Canada, where she is presently a doctoral candidate and fellow of the School of Graduate Studies in the Department of Folklore at Memorial University of Newfoundland. Her work on roadside crosses, commitment rings, and classical music radio has been published in scholarly journals and conference proceedings.

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