Loading Events

Please join Congressional Cemetery for a book signing event for author Allison C. Meier’s new book, Grave from the Object Lessons series. The author will be present to sign books and meet and greet attendees. Books will also be for sale at the event. A complimentary tour of HCC’s historic grounds will be offered with the author in attendance.

The event is free to attend but we ask that you please RSVP here!

You can purchase your own copy of Grave here!

The event is rain or shine. In the event of inclement weather, the book signing will take place in the chapel.

About the book:

Object Lessons is a series of short, beautifully designed books about the hidden lives of ordinary things.

Grave takes a ground-level view of how burial sites have transformed over time and how they continue to change. As a cemetery tour guide, Allison C. Meier has spent more time walking among tombstones than most. Even for her, the grave has largely been invisible, an out of the way and unobtrusive marker of death. However, graves turn out to be not always so subtle, reverent, or permanent.

While the indigent and unidentified have frequently been interred in mass graves, a fate brought into the public eye during the COVID-19 pandemic, the practice today is not unlike burials in the potter’s fields of the colonial era. Burial is not the only option, of course, and Meier analyzes the rise of cremation, green burial, and new practices like human composting, investigating what is next for the grave and how existing spaces of death can be returned to community life.

Object Lessons is published in partnership with an essay series in The Atlantic.

About the author:

Allison C. Meier is a writer and researcher based in New York City, USA. Her writing on visual culture, history, architecture has appeared in the New York TimesCurbedLapham’s QuarterlyCityLabNarrativelyMental FlossSmithsonianNew Inquiry, Slate, Urban OmnibusFine BooksArtsy, and others. She moonlights as a cemetery tour guide at New York burial grounds and is a licensed New York City sightseeing guide. Previously, she was a staff writer at Hyperallergic and a senior editor at Atlas Obscura.