Saturday, June 14, 2014

Important Artifacts and Personal Property from the Collection of Lenore Doolan and Harold Morris, including Books, Street Fashion and Jewelry, by Leanne Shapton. Sarah Crichton Books, 2009

The title is very nearly as long as the book; at 129 pages the volume barely makes it to book length. It’s constructed uniquely: it’s an auction catalog for the possessions of a couple, Lenore and Harold. She’s in her 20s, he’s in his 30s. They are hipsters who dress in vintage clothing and use precious vintage accessories. He’s a photographer, she’s a food columnist. We find that he considers his work art and very important and serious, while he considers her writing silly and unimportant. Through the book we see the couple get together, live together for a while, and fall apart. The author does this through not just their objects but through notes; him to her, her to him, her to her sister. Very short, spare notes, but still, they manage to convey the story. You wouldn’t think you could connect to a character with that few words, but I did find myself feeling a little sorry for Lenore.

It’s kind of a fun book to go through. This length is probably all that the format could sustain; it’s not a format for nuance and depth. I enjoyed it, but I’m glad I didn’t buy it but read the library copy. 

The above is an affiliate link. If you click through and buy something, Amazon will give me a few cents. This in no way affected my review. 

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