In the picturesque village of Guzmán, Spain, in a cave dug into a hillside on the edge of town, an ancient door leads to a cramped limestone chamber known as “the telling room”. Containing nothing but a wooden table and two benches, this is where villagers have gathered for centuries to share their stories and secrets - usually accompanied by copious amounts of wine. It was here, in the summer of 2000, that Michael Paterniti found himself listening to a larger-than-life Spanish cheesemaker named Ambrosio Molinos de las Heras as he spun an odd and compelling tale about a piece of cheese.
"A little too long but good nevertheless"
This extraordinary travel book tells the true story of how in 1997 writer Michael Paterniti agreed to take a road trip from New Jersey to California, reuniting the preserved brain of the great scientist Albert Einstein (1879-1955) with his granddaughter Evelyn. Paterniti's improbable travelling companion is 84-year-old Thomas Harvey, the pathologist who not only removed Einstein's brain from his head during the autopsy but purloined it from Princeton Hospital also!
"A very introspective book"
In the 17 wide-ranging essays collected for the first time in Love and Other Ways of Dying, he brings his full literary powers to bear, pondering happiness and grief, memory and the redemptive power of human connection. In the remote Ukranian countryside, Paterniti picks apples (and faces mortality) with a real-life giant; in Nanjing, China, he confronts a distraught jumper on a suicide bridge.
"This was just so so for me..."