It seems like everywhere I look everybody's suggesting Summer Reading. And while some of the books look good, I can't help but wonder if it's just PR department spin to sell books. Can they really be as good as the dust jacket suggests? So I thought I'd tell you about several stories that have captured my attention and my heart this summer.
The first is a book that I really loved, one that lives up to it's beautiful cover and dust jacket jargon - Cutting for Stone, by Abraham Verghese. Deep and beautifully written, the story swept me along and I was enchanted along the way. Set in India, Africa and the United States, it tells the story of twin brothers who grow up to become surgeons, following in their famous, but absent, father's footsteps. It's about medicine and healing. Family, love and betrayal. The immigrant experience and how geography is destiny, and finding your own country. I highly recommend it. If you are like me and like hearing writers talk about their work, you can hear an excellent interview with the author here.
The intense image above is from a new photography show in San Francisco by the talented fine art photographer, Jennifer Karaday. The central question she addresses is, how do you photograph memory? Which is an intriguing idea. In her new show at Sf Camera Work, "Soldiers' Stories of Iraq and Afghanistan," she is interested in "staged narrative tableau paintings". As one soldier put it, "This allowed me to tell my story without telling the story." You can see some of the photos and read about the exhibit and Jennifer at the NPR Picture Show Blog. Dreamlike, arresting, beautiful. A chance for war stories to be told and heard in a different way.
Ok, it's not a story, but it’s my favorite art magazine of all time. And it's been my favorite since I got the first issue in 2005, Selvedge always delivers inspiration for the mind and soul. It’s a British publication, independently published (bless them and keep the ad pounds and dollars rolling in), with the tagline: The Fabric of Your Life: Textiles in Fashion, Fine Art, Interiors, Travel and Shopping. It covers so much more than just textiles, please, please don’t be put off by that. So many of their textile spreads are like fine paintings and drawings. They report on art from all over the world. And I promise that if you splurge on a single issue (a steep $25) or a 6 issue subscription ($115.00) you WILL be inspired and informed and a better artist for the investment. And it is an investment. I keep all my issues safely tucked away and turn to them again and again for reference and inspiration. Save your pennies, buy a copy (I see it at Borders and at Barnes and Noble now – or urge your local library to get it) make a pot of tea and be prepared to be taken away to a place of sublime inspiration. www.selvedge.org.