After KATE MAYFIELD was born she was taken directly to a funeral home. Her father, an undertaker, set up shop in a small town in southern Kentucky where the family resided in his funeral home for thirteen years. This is the setting of her memoir, The Undertaker's Daughter.

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“I have tried to remember the first time I saw a dead body. There have been many odd firsts in my life, like the first time I touched a dead person. I was too short to reach into the casket, so my father picked me up and I leaned in for that first empty, cold touch. It was thrilling because it was an unthinkable act. But I recall no first viewing because from the time I entered the world, there were always dead bodies.”

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‘A dark and sharply detailed memoir...Introspective and rich with personal revelation.’
— Kirkus Review
“Her Southern Gothic-style description of the town of Jubilee in the 1960s, with its prim, elegant exterior masking a seething social dysfunction, reinforces the macabre mood.’
— The Economist
‘Mayfield fashions a poignant send-off to Jubilee in this thoughtfully rendered work.’
— Publisher's Weekly
‘Set in a small town in Kentucky, for thirteen years she lives with death, literally on her doorstep, and the coming and going of mourners and grief alike. A very unusual tale told in a fascinating way.’
— Marie Claire
‘As well as being a window on to a small community, this Gothic memoir is also Kate’s bid to understand her charismatic but complicated father.’
— Daily Express