Heather Pringle is a journalist and author who has written on archaeology and ancient cultures in numerous magazines including Discover, National Geographic Traveler, New Scientist, Science and Geo. In January 2002, she won the American Association for the Advancement of Science Award for Magazine Journalism. She is the author of three books, including The Mummy Congress. She lives in Vancouver, Canada.
Pringle's mummy experts are livelier than a crypt full of stacked corpses. This is high praise given how successfully the author animates the dead in this delightfully macabre piece of mortuary globe-trotting. The trip begins at the World Congress on Mummy Studies, held last in arid Arica, Chile. Arica's climate makes it the ideal place to bring your mummy as eccentric scholars do, by the busload. From South America, Pringle, a frequent contributor to magazines like Discover and Islands, departs for the global ateliers of this weird profession, from the makeshift morgue of Art Aufderheide in Egypt, where plastic bags full of brittle corpses are piled by the dozens; to the Peruvian mountaintops, where an American adventurer's discovery of a beautiful Inca girl named "Juanita," an ancient and flawless sacrifice to the gods, ignites a media frenzy; to the subterranean caverns beneath Red Square, where a team of mausoleumists tended to Lenin's lifelike remains, and freelanced their skills out to fellow communists wanting to see their own dead leaders under glass. Pringle's gifts as a writer and a journalist are evident on every page. In brisk, vivid prose she delivers the secrets of the mummy trade: mummies as medicine; the self-preservation techniques of Japanese monks; and the Vatican's modern-day practitioners of the temple priest's art. Pringle's mummies and the men and women who love them make for fascinating and lively reading; this book is sure to have, as they say, a very long shelf life. Agent, Anne McDermida. (June) Forecast: A five-city author museum tour and undoubtedly many positive reviews will help the book reach its potentially wide audience, way beyond the usual gallery of science fans. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
'Guaranteed to fascinate and entertain.' Anthony Sattin, Sunday Times
'The Mummy Congress is wide ranging in every sense. Heather Pringle's lively prose takes us across the centuries, across the globe, and across scientific disciplines. Bringing to life the study of mummies, she introduces us to the scholars of desiccated flesh: the Egyptologists, pathologists and archaeologists who gather at the "world mummy congress" with which she begins and ends her enthralling book.' Jonathan Sale, Independent
'Heather Pringle takes care to tell you the icky things you really wanted to know, while eloquently touring the world of present-day mummy studies.' Francis Spufford, Evening Standard
'Highly entertaining. From Chile to China, The Mummy Congress zips around the world and is far more lively than a book about dead people has any right to be.' Doug Johnstone, Scotland on Sunday