About this item

Certain symbols abound in modern Western culture that are instantly recognizable: the cross signifies Christianity, the six-pointed Star of David is revered by Jews, the golden arches frequently means it's time for lunch. Other symbols, however, require a bit of decoding-particularly those found in cemeteries. Cemeteries are virtual encyclopedias of symbolism. Engravings on tombstones, mausoleums and memorials tell us just about everything there is to know about a person- date of birth and death as well as religion, ethnicity, occupation, community interests, and much more. In the fascinating new book Stories in Stone: The Complete Guide to Cemetery Symbolism by noted author Douglas Keister, the secrets of cemetery symbolism are finally revealed. For instance, did you know that it is quite rare to see a sunflower on a tombstone? Did you know that the human foot symbolizes humility and service since it consistently touches the earth? Or the humble sheaf of wheat-while it is often used to denote someone who has lived a long and fruitful life, do you know other meanings it might carry? Stories in Stone provides history along with images of a wide variety of common and not-so-common cemetery symbols, and offers an in-depth examination of stone relics and the personal and intimate details they display-flora and fauna, religious icons, society symbols, and final impressions of how the deceased wished to be remembered.



About the Author

Douglas Keister

Photographer-writer Douglas Keister, has authored and co-authored forty-two critically acclaimed books. He also writes and illustrates magazine articles and contributes photographs and essays to dozens of magazines, newspapers, books, calendars, posters and greeting cards worldwide.

His twenty-five books on architecture include five books on Victorian homes (Daughter's of Painted Ladies, Painted Ladies Revisited, America's Painted Ladies, Victorian Glory and 500 Victorians) ; twelve books on bungalow homes (The Bungalow, Inside the Bungalow, Outside the Bungalow, 500 Bungalows and eight small format books on bungalow details) , a book on 1920's whimsical homes (Storybook Style) a book about cemetery art and architecture (Going Out in Style) , a book on Spanish architecture, (Red Tile Style) , four books on cottage (Classic Cottages, Inside Classic Cottages, Cottages and 500 Cottages a book on cemetery architecture (Going Out in Style) and a book on Courtyards. Keister photographed and wrote an award winning children's book (Fernando's Gift) , has two monographs of his personal work (Black Rock and Driftwood Whimsy) , and four books on classic recreational vehicles, Ready to Roll, Silver Palaces, Mobile Mansions and Teardrops and Tiny Trailers. His wealth of books on architecture has earned him the title, "America's most noted photographer of historic architecture". His book on cemetery symbolism, Stories in the Stone: A Field Guide to Cemetery Symbolism and Iconography, has garnered a number of glowing reviews.

He photographed and wrote a bilingual children's books in China, To Grandmother's House: A Visit to Old-Town Beijing (January 2008) . He had three books come out in fall 2008, Forever Dixie (a book on southern cemeteries) , Teardrops and Tiny Trailers and a book featuring his collection of glass negatives. Lincoln in Black and White 1910-1925.

His thirty-eighth book, Forever LA which features cemeteries in the Los Angeles Area was published in May 2010. His thirty-ninth book, Stories in Stone New York: A Field Guide to New York City Cemeteries and Their Residents was released in October 2011 by Gibbs Smith Publisher.

In the mid 2000s, Doug began writing novels, including Desiree, Autumn in Summer, Molly in the Afternoon (writing as Suzanne Hartley) and a memoir about growing up in Nebraska titled Heart-Land:Growing up in the Middle of Everything. His most recent novel, Bullets, Baubles and Bones came out in May 2014.

Doug frequently gives presentations in conjunction with his books and speaks at related events. In the past few years he has lectured in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Chicago, Atlanta, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Spokane, Kansas City, Boston, Houston, San Antonio, Milwaukee, Vermont, Winnemucca and Carson City, Nevada, Lincoln, Nebraska, Fort Wayne, Indiana, The Smithsonian in Washington D.C. and the Tenement Museu



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