Copyright © Thanatos Books and Sirius Publishing 2018/2020. All rights reserved

Selling books about dying and death, bereavement and grief



Thanatos Books is run by Valerie Clark

While teaching drama and English at secondary level, Valerie became aware that schools often ignore the needs of bereaved teenagers, especially around exam time. Soon afterwards she completed an MA and her dissertation found that no exam syllabus - not even biology - included death as a teaching topic (1989: Death education for adolescents: an education for life?).  

She subsequently taught counselling theory and skills, and also supported bereaved adults as a Cruse volunteer. Later her PhD research recorded some of the ways bereaved youngsters remember and communicate with their dead loved ones (1996: Bereavement and moral and spiritual development: an exploration of the experiences of children and young people).  This work made her more aware of the range of books steadily becoming available to professionals, family members, children and the wider reading public.

Valerie moved to Manchester in 1997 as a researcher in child psychiatry, using animal puppets to interview children. She became a member of Bereavement Research Forum (BRF) and later joined its steering committee.

She established Thanatos Books in 2000 and soon began selling books at a number of conferences including BRF, Sea of Faith, and Manchester Area Bereavement Forum. For some years sales were made online through Gardners Books. Nowadays, Thanatos Books sells to many groups nationwide, either by mail order or through bookstalls at conferences, training days or special events.