John Pope’s collection of Times-Pic obits launches Oct. 14 at Octavia Books

In what strikes Room 220 editors as a book that was dying to be published (har, har), longtime Times-Picayune journalist and obituary writer John Pope will celebrate the launch of his new collection of TP obits, Getting Off At Elysian Fields, at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 14, at Octavia Books (513 Octavia St.).

The collection spans Pope’s long career at the newspaper. These entires are not simple, mindless recitations of schools and workplaces, marriages, and mourners bereft—they are full-blooded life stories with accounts of great achievements, dubious dabblings, unavoidable foibles, relationships gone sour, and happenstances that turn out to be life-changing. Carnival monarchs and postal carriers are included side-by-side, with the tales of their lives and deaths (and distinctive death rituals) helping to tell the story of New Orleans—where, as everyone knows, we put the “fun” in “funeral.”

This event is free and open to the public.