Do you feel that you are under so much pressure to perform your emotions in ways that are readily legible to other people?

An unnamed woman separates from her husband. He disappears, and she goes to look for him in Greece. NPR’s Scott Simon talks to Katie Kitamura about her latest novel, A Separation.

Excerpt:

And one of the reasons I was interested in professional mourners is because I think in our culture, we’re under so much pressure to perform our emotions in ways that are readily legible to other people. But in my experience, grief in particular is not something that can be neatly packaged or expressed. It’s a – it’s an incredibly messy and unruly emotion. And so the practice of professional mourners means that there’s someone else (laughter) expressing your grief for you in a recognizable form that everybody can understand. And that gives you the privacy to kind of grieve in the way that you you need to and grieve in your own way.

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