Memento Mori: A Love Story at the Morbid Anatomy Museum in Brooklyn

Do you like death? Because death likes you, and not in a bad or creepy way. Author, photographer, and death expert Dr. Paul Koudounaris has traveled the world for the past decade, studying the way different cultures preserve the link between the living and the dead. In the process he has produced a pair of visually stunning, award winning books (The Empire of Death and Heavenly Bodies). His recently released third book, Memento Mori, was recently named a top ten new art and photo book by American Photo and listed by Interview Magazine as their choice of coffee table books of the month for April. And he will discuss the new book complete with a stunning slideshow of macabre yet beautiful images taken in over 60 countries. It turns out it’s not actually not all that creepy to cuddle with mummies. Find out how and why in a lecture that’s a can’t miss event for fans of the weird and esoteric.

Memento Mori: A Love Story
Morbid Anatomy Museum, 424A 3rd Ave
Brooklyn NY 11215
(347) 799-1017
May 9 8:00pm

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Memento Mori one of the ten best new photo books of the year, Maxim Russia, and an LA talk with musical accompaniment

Happy and more than a little surprised to see that Memento Mori is on American Photo’s roundup of the ten best new photography books. Well, it’s a lovely book, I swear it is, I guess I just found it surprising because a lot of mainstream photo publications seem turned off by overly macabre subject matter. Anyway . . . here lies a link.

Five-page color spread in Maxim Russia. That’s even more surprising. April issue, cover picture of a blond woman with large breasts. Which no doubt differentiates it from all other issues of Maxim Russia.

And . . . in addition to the gallery opening and signing at La Luz de Jesus, there will be one other book event in LA. On April 29, I will be doing a talk and slideshow with some very talented people, one of them also being very demented, who will be going by the name Words and creating a kind of chamber music soundscape. At the Last Bookstore, 453 S. Spring, Downtown.

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Demonically-Possessed Cat Lecture in Chicago

I am delighted to be able to bring this talk to Chicago, details on the flier.
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Book signing, photo show at Loved to Death in San Francisco

Will be back at Loved to Death in SF to sign copies of the new book and show a series of photos. Details on the flier. April 16, 6 to 8 pm.
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Photo shows and book events: LA, SF, Las Vegas, NY, Cleveland, Milwaukee

Will be doing several book events and a couple photo shows for the release of Memento Mori. Currently scheduled include:
April 3: Los Angeles, gallery show and book signing, La Luz de Jesus
April 16: San Francisco, book signing and photo exhibit, Loved to Death
April 23: Las Vegas, book signing and illustrated lecture, The Writer’s Block
May 1: Milwaukee, book signing and illustrated lecture, Walker Point Center for the Arts
May 3: Chicago, demonically-possessed cat lecture at Sideshow Gallery
May 5: Cleveland, book signing and illustrated lecture, Mac’s Books
May 9: New York: book signing and illustrated lecture at the Morbid Anatomy Museum

Also working on a date in Chicago, that should be resolved soon.

Will also be speaking at the Death Salon at the Getty Villa on April 23

mm flier
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First look at new book/Buzzfeed post

For those who are curious about the new book, Memento Mori, here’s a first look inside, via a preview from Buzzfeed!
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MEMENTO MORI: New book soon to be released

The third and final book I intend to do about the presentation of death in sacred contexts is also by far the most visually lavish. Titled Memento Mori, it features a larger page size and includes gatefold images. Available this spring in the USA, UK, and Europe, it is a more global and comprehensive approach than either of the first two books, and includes stunning visual material from Asia, Africa, and South America, as well as some newly photographed European sites. It’s not going to be a cheap book, but it’s something that’s intended for connoisseurs of this type of material. It’s available from Barnes and Noble (with B and N you can order it online or in many cases arrange in store pick up where stock is available), Amazon, Indiebound, and other book dealers.

There will also be a photo exhibit based on the images from the new book at La Luz de Jesus in Los Angeles in April, as well as the standard slew of talks in the standard slew of cities–specific details will be announced here and on the Facebook and Instagram pages.

Here is the publisher’s blurb for it:
The astonishing story of how the dead live on in memorials and traditions across the globe, from Ethiopia and Nepal to Cambodia and Rwanda, told through arresting images and captivating narration

Death is universal, but the human response to death varies widely. In Western society, death is usually medicalized and taboo, and kept apart from the world of the living, while in much of the rest of the world, and for much of human history, death has commonly been far more integrated into peoples’ daily existence, and human remains are as much a reminder of life, memento vitae, as of death, memento mori.

Through photos taken at more than 250 sites in thirty countries over a decade, Paul Koudounaris has captured death around the world. From Bolivia’s “festival of the little pug-nosed ones,” where skulls are festooned with flowers and given cigarettes to smoke and beanie hats to protect them from the weather to Indonesian families who dress mummies and include them in their household routines; from naturally preserved Buddhist monks and memorials to genocide in Rwanda and Cambodia to the dramatic climax of Europe’s great ossuaries, Memento Mori defies taboo to demonstrate how the dead continue to be present in the lives of people everywhere. 500+ color illustrations.





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Skeletons, Death, and Other Fun Things–Oct. 2 at the Brand Library, Glendale, CA

Talk at the Brand Library, Glendale CA, Oct. 2, FREE (you get what you pay for, but sometimes maybe a little bit more!)


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London Demonic Cat Lecture, Oct. 18

Called by the San Francisco Weekly “a crucially important pet presentation”

Does your cat do things like:

–spit fire?

–speak in tongues?


–shape shift?

–wantonly kill people for no apparent reason?

This behavior may be more than simple bad kitty syndrome—your cat may be possessed by a demon. But don’t worry, you’re not alone. In fact, there is an entire history of demonically-possessed cats. Felines were once considered by theologians to be easy prey for demons, who could enter their bodies and wreck incredible havoc on mankind. And did you know . . . demonically-possessed cats are still believed to be with us today! Dr. Paul Koudounaris, author of the cult macabre tomes Empire of Death and Heavenly Bodies has immersed himself in the study of demonic cats, and will return to London to give a talk on this sadly neglected topic.

Sure to please: cat lovers will like this lecture, and cat haters will like it even more. And neither side will ever look at a domestic cat the same way again. If this is one lecture you want to catch this year, this is it! This talk brought in a sold out crowd at the Morbid Anatomy Museum in New York, and early arrival is suggested. For press on the New York talk, see

For more information, see

Oct. 18, 730 PM

cat flier St. Pancras Old Church, London NW11UL

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Lecture in Conjunction with Body Worlds in Newcastle

Double lecture, Oct. 16, for information see this link:

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