Where can you find a cookie jar in the shape of a baseball filled with the ashes of an 84-year-old Chinese woman or a cardboard take-out carton with the remains of a 350-pound, agoraphobic pot-dealer? The Columbarium is the backdrop for peering into the eccentric lives of some of the dead, as well as of the people they left behind. Jed, a Jonestown survivor, takes a job fixing up the columbarium and ultimately comes to terms with his past and his own psychological demons. When the columbarium is vandalized, the mourners and Jed band together to preserve the memories of their loved ones, and in the process, they understand that belonging and connecting to others is what gives life meaning. A house for the dead becomes a venue for celebrating life.
About the Author
A retired teacher, Emily dabbles in screenwriting, blues piano and portrait drawing. She cofounded The Derelict Voice, a writing workshop for the homeless. "The Columbarium" is a sequel to her first novel, "Venice Beach." Born and raised in Manhattan, she and her husband now divide their time between two and a half acres in northern California and 750 square feet in southern California.