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The Institute for Creative Dying

by Jarred Thompson

Picador Africa

You wouldn’t know it was there, the unnumbered house behind the iron-grille gate, just below the craggy rocks of Northcliff ridge. To the untrained eye the rambling property might seem neglected, with its tangle of trees and untamed indigenous bush. But there is purpose here, and a peaceful, subterranean, focus on all that withers and dies. Five strangers – a model, a former nun, a couple in crisis, and an offender newly released from prison – have come here, to this place, to discover an end to life as they’ve known it. Placing their trust in their hosts, the Mortician and Mustafa, the five open their minds and bodies to an alternative experience. Not all of them will survive – or at least not in the way they imagined – but all of them will be shown the limits of their living.

The Institute for Creative Dying is vivid and visceral, unique in its bold and imaginative exploration of mortality and the interconnectedness of all forms of being.

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