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In the wake of a deadad

Andrew Ktting's In the Wake of a Deadad is a book like no other. It is a memoir, a demented exorcism, a mad travelogue, a compilation of different writers' meditations on death and a series of tragicomic elegies in the form of doodles and photos as well as prose. It is that rare thing: an art book that is not merely eye candy to be gawped at for a few minutes and then consigned to the coffee table, but a deeply moving work that merits several rereadings. In the Wake of a Deadad is stuffed with visual gags, photomontages, scans of the author's heart. Its formal messiness is strangely life- affirming, distinct as it is from the dry-autopsy mode of most father-son memoirs. The most un-English of books, it appears to be a series of bad-taste japes, but is in fact an exceedingly affecting and serious challenge to our received notions about how best to deal with death - and life. Only 1,000 copies of this beautifully designed and produced artefact have been published; snap one up while you can. - SUKHDEV SANDHU, New Statesman


Contributors: Adam Chodzko, Laurence Coriat, Mark Cousins, Jem Finer, Tony Grisoni, Gregorios - Archbishop of Thyateira and Great Britain, Sean Lock, Iain Sinclair, Dr Muhammad Shabbir Usmani, Janni Visman, Fay Weldon and Eden Ktting.