What's in an obituary? Ask Jill Orr

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In her debut novel, The Good Byline, Jill Orr presents herself as a fresh voice to the thriller genre. The book centers around a young woman who is obsessed with obituaries, only to find herself forced to write an obituary for her best friend. It's a wonderful mystery, but also a refreshing does of humor in a genre that can be at times, fairly morose.

In the interview, we talk about one of the inspirations for the book, which is perhaps one of the best obituaries ever written, for Harry Stamps of Long Beach. We talk about how obituaries can effectively celebrate the lives, and don't have to be dry, stale summaries of someone's life.

In addition to coming out with her debut novel, Jill Orr writes features and a parenting column for Como Living Magazine in Columbia, Missouri, where she lives with her husband and two children. She writes humor essays about parenting on her blog, An Exercise in Narcissism. The Good Byline is her first novel in the Riley Ellison mysteries series, published by Prospect Park Books.

OTHER THINGS WE DISCUSS

Jill Orr: Not the same Jill Orr, but an accomplished artist based in Australia

Maria Semple, one of Jill's literary heroes—she recommends starting with Where’d you go Bernadette?

Lisa Kogan

Roxane Gay, Magic Mike XXL: Possibly the finest piece of film criticism ever written, according to me

Jim Sheeler: Obit: Inspiring Stories of People who Lived Extraordinary Lives


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