Full episode
346: Home Alone
Act One

Plot Without A Story

Mary Ann was an elderly woman living by herself in Los Angeles County. She wasn't married, didn't have children, wasn't in touch with any of her family. When she became sick and went to the hospital, the only contact she had was Sue, the woman who delivered her prescriptions from the pharmacy. Then, Mary Ann died. There was a body to be buried, a house full of stuff to get rid of—but no family or friends to deal with it all. Luckily, there was Emily, an investigator for the Los Angeles Public Administrator's Office. It's her job to take care of the remains of lives like Mary Ann's. Eric Klinenberg reports the story. He's a sociologist, whose most recent book is Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone. (15 minutes)