The Pretty Pictures Post

A review for Womans World the most remarkable visual book I’ve ever and frankly will ever publish, has come my way from SEE, the Edmonton Alberta alt weekly. Now I’ve hustled off and on on my own blog about this book, which got almost no conventional review coverage, but was feted by folks like Mark Frauenfelder and the Institute for the Future of the Book. I won’t go into the details of the book here, but what you need to know is that, in the words of the author, “Woman’s World has been collaged from individual fragments of text (around 40,000 in all) found in women’s magazines published in the early 1960s. It has taken five years to produce.” [Examples here, here and here.]

What I what to reproduce here is the final lines of the Edmonton review, which really just gave me the chills right now:

I love thinking of all those magazines Rawle destroyed in order to create this book—all those glossy pages, with holes now cut into them where the best sentences used to be. To think that Norma used to live in those holes, scattered over thousands of pages. How lovely to know that Rawle has gathered up all those pieces of her soul and finally reunited them.

The author also has an illustrated Wizard of Oz coming our way in a couple months. (In a fit of true shilling, albeit of the generous variety, you can download the whole shebag here.)

And while I’m giving away PDFs of pretty pictures, this is Cristy Road’s Bad Habits, not “pretty” as such, but kind of punch-in-the-gut-gorgeous. [PDF here]


  1. Steve Winer says

    I read “Woman’s World” and loved it. As you indicate that the book got very little notice, I can’t help wondering if the mode of presentation actually pulled focus from the book itself. Had the book appeared as a conventional text novel, I suspect readers might have immediately recognized a brilliant psychological crime novel that might sit comfortably with those of Ruth Rendell or Patricia Highsmith.
    By no means am I saying that’s how it should have been published. I agree that the visuals enhance and underscore the story. But is it possible that there was a “forest for the trees” effect? People need to know that “Woman’s World” is not just an art object but a hard to put down reading experience.