Publisher: Three Arts Press
Distribution: Itasca Books
ISBN 10: 0-9669576-3-6
ISBN 13: 978-0-9669576-3-1
Price: $17.95
Trade Paperback: 156 pages
Publication Date: August, 2009

The Letter From Death
Lillian Moats
Foreword by Howard Zinn
Illustrations by David Moats

Death's philosophical essay to the whole of humanity is a startling take on death, fear, war and love.

Lillian Moats' latest book, The Letter from Death, features a foreword by Howard Zinn and 20 evocative full-page illustrations by David Moats. This slim volume casts a bright light on how our unexamined fear of death has been reinforced and manipulated throughout history, resulting in the misdirection of our energies—away from the real and immediate challenges of this world and toward unnecessary war, injustice and self- destruction.

About the Author

Lillian Moats is a writer, artist and filmmaker. The animated art films for children and adults which Moats has produced with JP Somersaulter have won over 40 national and international awards and have been screened by invitation in festivals around the world. Bruno Bettelheim first encouraged the publication of Moats' original fairy tales for all ages. Her book, The Gate of Dreams (Cranbrook Press:1993, 1996) is a collection of these stories, which Moats illustrated with silhouettes in the tradition of classic fairy tale editions. The Gate of Dreams was selected for the South Carolina Children's Book Awards List for 1995. Legacy of Shadows (Three Arts Press: 1999) is a fictionalized memoir tracing the lives of a mother, daughter and granddaughter in turn. Moats won critical acclaim for this exploration into the universal impact of unresolved emotion passed from generation to generation. Speak, Hands (Three Arts Press: 2006) followed as an experimental work of creative non-fiction which defied the conventions of memoir by questioning the very nature of memory and the traditional autonomous subject. This complex narrative, told through four inner voices, challenged the distinction between mind and body, subject and object, consciousness and the unconscious. Moats' fourth book The Letter from Death (with a foreword by revered historian and social activist Howard Zinn, and 20 evocative full page illustrations by David Moats) is a work of fiction addressing social, philosophical and political concerns. The Letter from Death (Three Arts Press: August, 2009) will challenge even the most open-minded readers to re-examine their beliefs about death, life and "human nature."

Early Praise

"The Letter from Death is exquisite—acutely imagined, well-crafted, vivid, simultaneously transcendent and focused. Who better than Death to explain the addiction of the death culture? Who better able to document the horror? What a book! It deserves a large, large audience."

—William Ayers, Distinguished Professor of Education, University of Illinois at Chicago

"The Letter from Death is cogent, profound, relevant, and needed. Moats deserves thanks and congratulations for confronting the subject of death head on—eloquently, realistically, and rationally—and for her remarkable combination of pessimism and optimism. Her readers will be challenged, and the thinking of some, changed."

—Kathleen McCrone, Professor Emeritus of History, University of Windsor

"I devoured this book. Lillian Moats brilliantly makes Death the narrator of a tour through hell and war, which are both rooted in fear itself. We hear of the litany of hells that religion has invented to scare us into blind obedience. Filled with punch lines that make you laugh and cry, The Letter from Death shows the hell of war that in the end is as horrible as the medieval worms and fire of the Christian church's imagined afterlife. But by the end of the book we see Death as the empathetic curator of humanity's most precious yearnings for life, while the warmongers among us turn out to be the real Grim Reapers of death."

"Read this book and you will look at death—and life in a newly liberated way. David Moats' illustrations, sometimes chilling, always provocative, make the imagination glow."

—Michael McConnell, Regional Director, American Friends Service Committee

"The Letter from Death warns of the senseless killing in war and should inspire peace to protect the living."

—Benjamin B. Ferencz, Former Nuremberg war crimes prosecutor