A darkly humourous memoir of a
1960s summer spent in a cemetery.
First published in hardcover in 2008,
In the Land of Long Fingernails was shortlisted for the
Trillium Book Prize, the Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour,
and the Toronto Book Awards.
During the hazy summer of 1969, Charles
Wilkins, then a university student, took a job as a gravedigger in
a vast corporate cemetery in the east end of Toronto. The bizarre
but true events of that time-a midsummer gravediggers'' strike, the
unearthing of a victim of an unsolved murder, and a little illegal
bone shifting-play out among a Barnum-esque parade of mavericks and
misfits in this macabre and hilarious memoir.
Amid relentless gallows humour and the
inevitable reminders of what it is, finally, to be human, Wilkins
provides an unforgettable insider''s view of a morbidly fascinating
industry. In the Land of Long Fingernails is a story of
mortality, materialism, friendship, and sexuality, and the gradual
coming of age of an impressionable young man.
A darkly humourous memoir of a 1960s
summer spent in a cemetery.