Dying alone in New York

A fantastic, chilling ethnography of death in the modern metropolis – and of a life forgotten and pieced together from postmortem scraps. This text gives insights not only into the journey of a death person through a number of complex social institutions, but also into the world of different professionals employed in dealing with death.

The Lonely Death of George Bell, by N. R. Kleinfield, photography by Josh Haner

“In discovering a death, you find a life story and perhaps meaning. Could anything in the map of George Bell’s existence have explained his lonely end? Possibly not. But it was true that George Bell died carrying some secrets. Secrets about how he lived and secrets about who mattered most to him. Those secrets would bring sorrow. At the same time, they would deliver rewards. Death does that. It closes doors but also opens them.”

Categories: Rethinking The World, Sociological Craft, The Idle Ethnographer, Visual Sociology

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