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Life on the Dead Beat


Thursday, October 16, 2014 at 3:03pm

Writing obituaries is a job like no other on a daily newspaper. You meet the most fascinating people, all of them dead.

The Vancouver Public Library hosts a presentation “Life on the Dead Beat” with journalist and obituary writer Tom Hawthorn on Monday, November 12 at 7pm at the Central Library (350 W. Georgia Street). Hawthorn will talk about the pitfalls and the pleasantries of a decade writing obituaries and will read excerpts from his new book Deadlines: Obits of Memorable British Columbians.

Gathered together in Deadlines are the best, the funniest, the most memorable of the passing parade of characters who make life in British Columbia so remarkable. Here are athletes and authors, innovators and scholars, trailblazers and politicians of all stripes (including prison stripes). You will meet the boxer Baby Face and a wrestler known as Mean Gene; the yodeling cowboy singer Alberta Slim and the last living member of the RCMP posse that pursued the Mad Trapper of Rat River. The book also features some of BC’s illustrious veterans, including Vancouver’s RCAF flight lieutenant Roy Borthwick, who piloted the bomber that destroyed the bridge made famous in the movie The Bridge on the River Kwai.