Review by Allison Bohac
“Are you dead or alive?”
The Undead opens with a question that seems like it should have an easy answer. But Teresi, a science writer, argues that in today’s age of beating-heart cadavers that can breathe, urinate and even give birth while legally dead, it can be hard to tell.
Historically, Egyptians and ancient Greeks considered a heartbeat to be the telltale indicator; Christian and Hebrew interpretations of the Bible pointed to breath. The Samburu people in Africa still contend that someone is not dead until hyenas will eat the body.