Photo-Embedded Fiction & Poetry 2014
Here is my list of works of fiction and poetry published in 2014 containing embedded photographs. You can see all of my previous lists via the drop-down menu “Photo-Embedded Literature” at the top of this page. I’ve updated a number of the annual lists recently, usually thanks to readers who point me in the direction of books I’ve overlooked. If you know of a book from any year that I might not have mentioned, please let me know in a comment. [Added to on March 23, April 8, August 25, 2015 January 18, February 18, 22, March 27, July 13, 2016, February 8, 2017.]
Jeffery Renard Allen. Song of the Shank. Minneapolis: Graywolf Press. Several photographs credited to various sources.
Mark Axelrod. “Kissing Sonia Braga.” A story in Golden Handcuffs Review 19 (Fall-Winter 2014-15), pp. 136-149. A short story containing seven unattributed photographs of the actress Sonia Braga, including film posters and snapshots.
Jesse Ball. Silence Once Begun. NY:Pantheon. Contains sixteen unattributed photographs.
Robert Joseph Bevenour. Road to Yasukuni. Tucson: Wheatmark. A historical novel that contains twenty-four photographs of World War II, credited to various sources.
Teju Cole. Every Day Is for the Thief. NY: Random House. A slightly revised edition of the 2007 book published in Nigeria. My review of the original edition can be seen here.
Julio Cortázar. Fantomas Versus the Multinational Vampires: An Attainable Utopia Narrated by Julio Cortázar. Los Angeles: Semiotext(e). The first English translation of Cortazar’s 1975 book, originally titled Fantomas contra los vampiros multinacionales. After serving on the Second Russell Tribunal in Brussels in 1975, which condemned human rights violations in Latin America and was deeply critical of multinational corporations and countries that were propping up criminal regimes like that of Augusto Pinochet in Chile, Cortázar decided to promote the work of the Tribunal through his writing. But the result was more comedic than grim. In this short, heavily-illustrated text, Cortázar, Susan Sontag, other well-known writers, and Fantomas (a hugely popular sociopathic thief who was the subject of scores of French novels and films) plot ways to support the work of the Tribunal. The illustrations are a mix of photographs and photomontages, illustrations apparently from early twentieth century editions of Fantomas stories, and sections lifted directly from a Mexican comic book series featuring Fantomas that ran from the 1960s into the 1980s. The specific comic book that Cortázar reproduces here is from 1975, Fantomas la amenaza elegante, which included the character of Julio Cortázar himself.
Simon Critchley. Memory Theatre. London: Fitzcarraldo Editions. Contains a sequence of photographs by Liam Gillick. The publisher calls this an “essay” rather than a book of fiction, but it seems to be an essay structured as (or within) a work of fiction. My review of Critchely’s book can be read here.
Suzanne Doppelt. Lazy Suzie. Brooklyn: Litmus Press, 2014. Unclassifiable texts (prose poems/essays/meditations?) interspersed with 28 pages of Doppelt’s signature paired b&w photographs.
Jana Harris. You Haven’t Asked About My Wedding or What I Wore: Poems of Courtship on the American Frontier. Fairbanks: University of Alaska Press. Contains 28 b&w, uncredited historical photographs of scenes and people from the 19th century American west.
Matthea Harvey. If the Tabloids Are True, What Are You? Minneapolis: Graywolf. Poems and photo-based artwork, all by Harvey.
Kerry Hines. Young Country. Auckland: University of Auckland Press. Kerry’s poetry responds to the photographs of the 19th century New Zealand photographs of William Williams. With 82 b&w photographs.
Derek Jarman. A Finger in the Fishes Mouth. London: Test Centre. A facsimile of the exceedingly rare 1972 publication issued by Bettiscombe Press (Dorset). A limited edition of 700 copies. Contains poems by Jarman paired with postcards from his collection. My review of Jarman’s book can be read here.
Zachary Lazar. I Pity the Poor Immigrant. NY: Little Brown. Includes several variously credited photographs.
Ben Lerner. 10:04. NY: Faber & Faber. Contains numerous photographs and other illustrations, credited to a variety of sources.
Cari Lynn and Kellie Martin. Madam: A Novel of New Orleans. NY: Plume. Each chapter begins with an image of or from New Orleans, circa 1890s. Most are photographs, credited to various sources.
Cornelius Medvei. The Making of Mr Bolsover. London: Harvill Secker. A fictional biography with a plate section in the middle of the book with eight b&w photographs that are undoubtedly by the author.
Laurent Mauvignier. Autour de Monde. Paris: Editions de Minuit. A series of stories connected only by the day on which they occur: March 11, 2011, the day of the giant tsunami hit Japan. 14 small b&w photographs credited to various sources separate each section of the book.
Lance Olsen. Theories of Forgetting. Tuscaloosa: Fiction Collective 2, 2014. A bi-directional novel with a circular text allowing the reader to start at either end of the book, read through it, flip it over, and continue reading. Contains many b&w photographs. “Film, photography, and manipulated images are by A[ndi] and L[ance] Olsen.”
Claudia Rankine. Citizen: An American Lyric. Minneapolis: Graywolf. Book-length poem with numerous photographs from a variety of sources, mostly contemporary artworks, along with some photojournalism.
Ransom Riggs. Hollow City. Philadelphia: Quirk. Contains numerous vintage found photographs, mostly from the author’s own collection. A follow-up to the author’s 2011 book Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children.
Eleni Sikelianos. You Animal Machine (The Golden Greek). Minneapolis: Coffee House Press, 2014. A book-length biography written as a prose poem, heavily illustrated with photographs and materials from the life of a Greek immigrant who became a burlesque dancer known as Melena the Leopard Girl.
Johanna Skibsrud. Quartet for the End of Time. New York: W.W. Norton. Contains numerous credited photographs.
James Wilson. Three Bridges. Miami: Neverland. A novel with numerous uncredited photographs.
Brad Zellar. House of Coates. Minneapolis: Coffee House Press. Contains more than sixty photographs by Alec Soth.