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Photography-Embedded Fiction & Poetry 2012

Here is my bibliography of works of fiction and poetry published in 2012 containing embedded photographs.  If you know of a book that I have not mentioned, please let me know in a comment. My thanks to the many Vertigo readers who have already pointed out books that I had not known about. [Updated January 11, 2013, July 24, 2013, January 22, 2014, May 13, 2014, October 30, 2014, December 11, 2016, September 18, 25, 2017.]

Browning Trying to reach youBarbara Browning. I’m Trying To Reach You. Two Dollar Radio, 2012. From the back cover: a “comical novel about performance art, the electric guitar, American identity, racial and sexual ambiguity, and the challenge of accepting the mortality of the people we love,” although it seems mostly about modern dance.

Sinclair Catling Clouds Colliding

Brian Catling and Iain Sinclair. Several Clouds Colliding. London: Swedenborg Archive and Books Works, 2012. This slim, lovely volume constitutes something that is “part research document, part lecture transcript and part archive intervention” relating to an exhibition and performance by Catling and Sinclair in 2010. Sinclair’s texts are like free-form jazz solos, often melancholy and grim, while Catling takes a more archival, object-based approach, focusing in on the photograph of the 1910 Swedenborgian Congress and a selection of lantern slides from the Society’s teaching collection.


Daša DrndićTrieste.  London: Maclehose Press.  English translation Ellen Elias-Bursać.  First published in Croatian in 2007.  Contains numerous unattributed photographs.


Aidan Higgins. Blind Man’s Bluff. Champaign: Dalkey Archive Press, 2012. How much fiction is embedded in these twenty brief, mostly autobiographic sketches and ponderings on topics such as publisher John Calder, Albert Speer’s garden, Robinson Crusoe, and blindness? Regardless of the answer, they are all delightful. The book includes a number of Higgins’ wonderful pen and ink sketches, along with eight intriguing photographs (three of which are photocollages).

Kind One

Laird Hunt.  Kind One.  Minneapolis: Coffee House Press.  Contains six uncredited photographs.  See my review of this powerful novel here.


Miroslav Kirin.  Iskopano.  Zagreb: Vukovic & Runjic.  Essays, poems and short stories arising from the discovery of family photographs that were excavated upon returning to a home after years of forced exile.  The numerous photographs were naturally distorted and chemically altered by their burial in a dunghill.  In Croatian.


Alexander Kluge and Gerhard RichterDecember: 39 Stories 39 Pictures.  London: Seagull.  English-language translation by Martin Chalmers. Originally published in German in 2010.  Contains thirty-nine photographs of winter forest scenes by Richter and thirty-nine short pieces by Kluge.

Office Girl

Joe Meno.  Office Girl.  NY: Akashic Books.  Contains photographs credited to Todd Baxter.

Sisyphus Outdone

Nathanaël [Nathalie Stephens]. Sisyphus, Outdone: Theatres of the Catastrophal. Callicoon, NY: Nightboat Books, 2012. A genre- and gender-bending meditation on catastrophe, photography, death, philosophy, and more. Prose fragments, a portion of a musical score by Shostakovitch, and four photographs – three attributed to RY King and one to the 19th century British photographer James Valentine

Eight Girls

Whitney Otto.  Eight Girls Taking Pictures.  NY: Scribner.  Contains eight photographs by various female photographers, including Imogen Cunningham, Grete Stern, Ruth Orkin, Camile Solyagua, et., with each photograph serving as the inspiration for a short story.


Angharad Price. The Life of Rebecca Jones. London: MacLehose, 2012. This fictional life of a real woman contains historic photographs taken by “Angharad Price and family” (Price is the great-niece of the subject of her novel).  This edition includes only eight of the ten photographs in the Welsh version. A translation from the 2002 Welsh novel O! Tyn y Gorchudd. For information on the original Welsh publication, see here.


Paisley Rekdal.  Intimate: An American Family Photo Album.  North Adams, Mass: Tupalo Press.  An “assemblage” of photographs, poems, and texts that collectively create a family memoir.  Most of the photographs are by Edward Curtis, others are credited to various sources.


(Lindsay Seers) and Ole Hagen.  Nowhere Less Now.   London: Artangel.  This book was given to everyone who attended Nowhere Less Now, a film installation conceived by artist Lindsay Seers and held in London at the Tin Tabernacle from September 8 through October 21, 2012.  The text by Hagen, which is a marvelous fictional text about memory, codes, shipping, travel, and much more, includes many photographs from private collections and public archives.  More information on the exhibition can be found here.

Hard Times

John L. Spivak.  Hard Times on a Southern Chain Gang.  Columbia: University of South Carolina Press.  This edition includes a facsimile reprint of Spivak’s novel Georgia Nigger, originally published in 1932, and a new introduction by David A. Davis.  John Spivak (1897-1981) was a left-leaning journalist who used his first-hand research to create a fictionalized account that exposed the terrible condition of Georgia’s prison system and chain gangs and the cruel treatment of African American prisoners eight years ago.  The novel contained a photographic frontispiece.  In addition,Spivak felt compelled to add an appendix because, as he put it in his Postscript to the book, “the scenes described are so utterly incredible that I feel an appendix of pictures and documents are necessary in this particular work.  The pictures I took personally …”  To my knowledge, this was the first work of fiction published in the United States to include photographs.  Needless to say, copies of the 1932 edition are exceedingly hard to find these days.

Blinded Myself

Jess Stoner.  I Have Blinded Myself Writing This.  Ann Arbor: Short Flight/Long Drive Books.  Numerous illustrations, many altered, some photographic.

Taylor Apart

Catherine Taylor. Apart. Brooklyn: Ugly Duckling Presse, 2012. A book about apartheid in South Africa, Apart is one of the new breed of books that blend (or dismiss) genres. To quote from the back cover: “Apart is neither journalism nor memoir, nor documentary poem nor lyric essay nore jeremiad – though it contains elemetns of them all…”

All Colours Fade

James Wilson.  All the Colours Fade.  Miami: Neverland Publishing.  Prose poems inspired by the band the Stone Roses, illustrated with forty photographs.

4 Comments Post a comment
  1. James #

    Terry, here is one more for your list!:

    I must ask the publishers to send you a copy!

    Best wishes, James

    January 15, 2013
    • Super. Thanks, James.

      January 15, 2013
    • James, Received! Thank you and Neverland Publishing.



      January 24, 2013
  2. Tomasz #

    I’m sure you know this, but I am submitting it just in case. With regards, Tomasz

    January 18, 2013

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