Photography-Embedded Literature 2005-2009
Here is my bibliography of works of fiction and poetry published in the years 2005-2009 containing embedded photographs. You can see bibliographies for other years underneath the pull-down menu “Photo-Embedded Literature” at the top of Vertigo. I continue to these lists as I learn of new books. If you know of a book that I have not mentioned, please let me know in a comment. [Last updated March 22, 2022.]
Mario Bellatin. Chinese Checkers: Three Fictions. Ravenna Press, 2006. Contains three novellas: “Chinese Checkers” (no photographs), “Hero Dogs” (9 b&w photographs), and “My Skin Luminous” (1 b&w photograph).
Chris Bohjalian. Double Bind. NY: Shaye Areheart, 2007. Contains 12 photographs credited to the now-deceased homeless photographer Bob “Soupy” Campbell.
Claude Cahun (pseudonym of Lucy Renee Mathilde Schwob. Disavowals. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2008. Cahun’s “poem-essays” contain a number of her photomontages, which were created in collaboration with her partner Suzanne Malherbe. Apparently the first English translation of her extremely rare 1930 book Aveux non Avenus (Paris: Édition due Carrefour).
Bernardo Carvalho. Nine Nights. London: William Heinemann, 2007. Contains two archival photographs. Originally published in Portuguese in 2002 under the title Nove Noites. The faux tattered cover design for this edition is brilliant. Here is my post about this book.
Rene Char. Le Trousseau de Moulin Premier. Paris: Editions de la Table Ronde, 2009. Reprint of a commercially-produced postcard album (“Album Souvenir de L’Isle-sur-Sorgues”) annotated by Char in 1937 with poems and aphorisms. The original was a gift to Greta Knutson-Tzara, then the wide of Tristan Tzara.
David Charters. The Ego Has Landed. London: Elliott & Thompson, 2007. A novel with photographs by Alice Rosenbaum.
Teju Cole. Every Day Is for the Thief. Lagos: Cassava Republic, 2007. Contains a number of beautiful b&w photographs by the author. Here is a link to my post about this book.
Debra Di Blasi. The Jiri Chronicles and Other Fictions. Tuscaloosa, AL: Fiction Collective 2, 2007. Contains various types of imagery.
Eddie Campbell. The Fate of the Artist. NY: First Second, 2006. A graphic novel and pseudo-autobiography about the artist’s own disappearance. Occasional photographs employed.
Suzanne Doppelt. RING RANG WRONG. Providence: Burning Deck, 2006. Poems and photographs by Doppelt. Originally published in French in 2004 under the title Quelque Chose Cloche.
Suzanne Doppelt. Le pré est vénéneux. Paris: P.O.L., 2007. Doppelt’s poems are interspersed with pages of her own photographs, often arrayed in pairs or grids. Translated into English in 2011 under the title The Field Is Lethal.
Vincent Drachy. Tribulations of a Westerner in the Western World. Los Angeles: Les Figues Press, 2007. An oddly disjointed narrator leads us on a strange slide show. With scores of photographs, presumably by the author.
Umberto Eco. The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana. NY: Harcourt, 2005. A translation by Geoffrey Brock from the original Italian edition of 2004. Eco’s book is filled with scores of images drawn from popular culture, such as book covers, movie stills & posters, postage stamps, comic books, and more.
Ken Edwards. Nostalgia for Unknown Cities. Hastings: Reality Street Editions, 2007. Contains twenty-one photographs by the author. A self-described “anti-narrative” about cities and dreams.
Thalia Field. Ululu: Clown Shrapnel. Minneapolis: Coffee House Press, 2007. “A furious performance of text and imagery” (from the publisher’s blurb), Field’s novel deals with the history of Ululu (or Lulu) in plays, operas, and films. The book includes line drawings by Abbot Stranahan and many film stills from “a silent film” by Bill Morrison.
Jonathan Safran Foer. Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close. NY: Houghton Mifflin, 2005. Fifty-two photographs and plus a few other illustrations are distributed throughout the novel about 9/11. Some are attributed to Debra Meltzer, Christopher Moisan, and Anne Chalmers, while some remain unattributed. The book closes with a famous (or infamous) sequence of photographs of a “falling man” from 9/11, but here the order is reversed so that the figure rises in space.
Rivka Galchen. Atmospheric Disturbances. NY: Farrar Straus Giroux, 2008. Contains several uncredited snapshots, along with some graphs.
Forrest Gander. Eye Against Eye. NY: New Directions, 2005. Includes the poem sequence “Late Summer Entry: The Landscapes of Sally Mann,” which includes ten photographs by Mann. Each poem in the sequence reflects, in part, on an image by Mann.
Keith Gessen. All the Sad Young Literary Men. NY: Viking, 2008. Contains several kinds of images, including three photographs.
Ross Gibson. The Summer Exercices. University of Western Australia Press, 2008. Contains approximately 230 photographs selected by the author from the Justice & Police Museum, New South Wales.
Michal Govrin. Snapshots. NY: Riverhead, 2007. Here is a link to my post about this book. Translated from the Hebrew in 2002 where it was published under the title Hevzekim.
Lauren Groff. The Monsters of Templeton. NY: Hyperion, 2008. Contains a number of uncredited 19th century portraits.
Sara Gruen. Water for Elephants. Chapel Hill: Algonquin Books, 2006. Contains historic circus photographs as occasional illustrations facing new chapters.
Emmanuel Guibert. The Photographer: Into War-torn Afghanistan with Doctors Without Borders. NY: First Second, 2009. A documentary graphic novel about the photographer Didier Lefèvre’s trip into war-torn Afghanistan with Doctors without Borders. The book uses many of Lefèvre’s own photographs.
Pierre Guyotat. Coma. Paris: Mercure de France, 2006. Includes eleven reproductions of artworks and film stills. This is the original French edition, which was translated into English in 2010.
Steven Hall. The Raw Shark Texts. Edinburgh: Canongate, 2007. While Hall’s book primarily plays with typography, it does include reproductions of two photographic postcards.
Garth Risk Hallberg. A Field Guide to the North American Family. NY: Mark Batty, 2007. Hallberg’s book is a novel in the form of a dictionary in which entries span the attributes of the family in question, such as Adolescence, Guilt, and Sacrifice. Each entry includes a photograph selected from more than fifty different photographers. At one time, the work continued interactively online, but the link no longer works.
Joshua Harmon. Quinnehtukqut. Buffalo: Starcherone Books, 2007. Contains reproductions of five photographic vintage postcards credited to the Eastern Illustrating & Publishing Co, in Belfast, Maine.
Mark Haworth-Booth. Wild Track. Weymouth: Trace Editions, 2005. Printed in a small run of 500 copies, this is book of poems by Haworth-Booth “with pictures by friends.” Some of images of artwork that inspired the poems (paintings, drawings, and photographs) are reproduced in the book. Haworth-Booth, long-time curator of photography at the Victoria & Albert Museum, is drawn to a wonderful selection of artworks, to which his image-filled poems respond nicely. Included in the book is a mini-CD of the author reading several of the poems.
Aleksander Hemon. Lazarus Project. NY: Riverhead, 2008. Contains images credited to Velibor Bozovic and the Chicago Historical Society.
Maureen Howard. The Rags of Time. NY: Viking, 2009. Howard’s novel contains about a dozen photographs, including one each by well-known photographers Lee Friedlander and Paul Strand, and several non-photographic illustrations.
Susan Howe. Souls of the Labadie Tract. NY: New Directions, 2007. Howe’s poems contain photographic reproductions of book pages and a map, plus a photograph of a textile fragment.
Pawel Huelle. Mercedes-Benz. London: Serpent’s Tail, 2005. First published in Polish in 2003.
Laird Hunt. Ray of the Star. Minneapolis: Coffee House Press, 2009. Paperback original. Contains three uncredited photographs – one preceding each of the three chapters.
Tove Jansson. A Winter Book. London: Sort of Books, 2006. A selection of stories by Jansson, interspersed with numerous Jansson family photographs.
Bhanu Kapil. Humanimal: A Project for Future Children. Berkeley: Kelsey Street Press, 2009. Kapil, a poet and performance artist, Kapil follows a film crew to the Bengal jungle to re-encounter the true story of two girls found living with wolves in 1921. Her “fiction” about these events includes photographs, some of which have had portions removed.
Shirley Kivland. Freud on Holiday [series]. York: Information as Material, and Athens: Cube Art, 2006-2013. A series of eight pamphlets in which Kivland writes as if recreating some of Sigmund Freud’s vacation trips. Kivland’s writing moves through various Freudian principles, such as Freudian slips, and creates imaginative family members who seem to accompany her on her planned, but uncompleted trips. The volumes are illustrated with photographs, reproductions of old postcards, and other types of illustrations. For more information, see this article in Art Journal.
Alexander Kluge. Geschichten vom Kino. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 2007. Published in English as Cinema Stories in the same year by New Directions (New York).
Alexander Kluge. Cinema Stories. NY: New Directions, 2007. Originally published in German as Geschichten vom Kino in 2007 by Suhrkamp (Frankfurt). The American edition contains only a selection of stories from the original. Contains a number of images, including various unattributed photographs – historic images, film stills, etc.. With posthumous blurb on the back cover from Sebald: “Alexander Kluge, that most enlightened of writers.”
Rohan Kriwaczek. An Incomplete History of the Art of Funerary Violin. London: Duckworth Overlook, 2006. Kriwaczek has produced a wonderful hoax in the form of a history of a non-existent practice, complete with historical photographs.
Andrew Lanyon. Circular Walks Around Rowley Hall. London: Atlas Press, 2006. Contains numerous photographs and other illustrations. Here is a link to my post about Andrew Lanyon.
Starling Lawrence. The Lightning Keeper. NY: Harper Collins, 2006. Here is a link to my post about Sterling Lawrence’s book.
Amanda Lohrey. Vertigo. Melbourne: Black Inc., 2008. Contains ten photographs credited to artist Lorraine Diggs. Here is my review of the book.
Andrew Losowsky. The Doorbells of Florence. San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 2009. Stories with photographs by the author.
Gherasim Luca. The Passive Vampire. Prague: Twisted Spoon Press, 2008. First English translation of the original (and exceedingly rare) Le Vampire Passif (Bucharest: Editions de l’Oubli, 1945). With 18 photographs by Théodore Brauner, mostly of Surrealistic objects, some of which were created by his brother Victor Brauner. Here is my review of the book.
Stephen Marche. The Shining at the Bottom of the Sea. NY: Riverhead, 2007. A faux anthology of writings on a fictional country, complete with photographs and documents. Here is a link to my post on this book.
Micheline Aharonian Marcom. Draining the Sea. NY: Riverhead Books, 2008. Contains ten uncredited historic photographs, two at the beginning of each chapter.
Javier Marias. Your Face Tomorrow: Fever and Spear. NY: New Directions, 2005. Contains several reproductions of posters and documents and a single photograph. Originally published in Spanish in 2002 under the title Tu Rostro Mañana: Fiebre y Lanza. I wrote about the book here. This is the first volume of a three-volume novel. Volume two, Dance and Dream, contains no images.
Javier Marias. Tu Rostro Mañana: Veneno y Sombra y adiós. l. Madrid: Alfaguara, 2007. Contains several reproductions of posters and documents and a single photograph. Translated in 2009 as Your Face Tomorrow: Poison, Shadow and Farewell. This is the final volume of a three-volume novel. Contains reproductions of artwork, documents, and posters, along with two uncredited photographs.
Javier Marias. Your Face Tomorrow: Poison, Shadow and Farewell. NY: New Directions, 2009. Contains several reproductions of posters and documents and a single photograph. Originally published in Spanish in 2007 under the title Tu Rostro Mañana: Veneno y Sombra y adiós. Contains reproductions of artwork, documents, and posters, along with two uncredited photographs. This is the final volume of a three-volume novel. Volume two, Dance and Dream, contains no images.
Melania G. Mazzucco. Vita: A Novel. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2005. Contains family photographs as well as archival photographs from Italian collections. This English translation by Virginia Jewiss is the first English-language edition of Vita, which was originally published in Italy in 2003. Here is a link to my post on this book.
McIlvoy, Kevin. The Complete History of New Mexico: Stories. St. Paul: Graywolf Press, 2005. The story “The Complete History of New Mexico, Part II” contains six b&w uncredited snapshots, each reproduced as if adhered to the page with photo corners. The story is written as if it were a fifth grade assignment, complete with the teacher’s response and grade (F).
Cornelius Medvei. Mr. Thundermug. London: Fourth Estate, 2006. A curious parable about a talking baboon who comes to live in the city. Illustrated with a number of grainy-looking “photo-etchings” by the author.
Jim Miller. Drift. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2007. Contains photographs by Jennifer Cost and the San Diego Historical Society.
Audrey Niffenegger. Her Fearful Symmetry. NY: Scribner, 2009. “Scribner collector’s edition September 2009.” A ghost story in which a pair of Chicago twins inherit a London apartment, with unsettling results. The limited edition version of Niffenegger’s novel contains a frontispiece photograph by Richard Jenkins and three photographs by Joseph Regal. All are sepia-toned photographs of cemeteries.
Mark Nowak. Coal Mountain Elementary. Minneapolis: Coffee House Press, 2009. Contains twenty-five photographs. From the back cover: “Coal Mountain Elementary remixes verbatim testimony from the surviving Sago, West Virginia miners and rescue teams, the American Coal Foundation’s curriculum for schoolchildren, and newspaper accounts of mining disasters in China with photographs of American mining towns shot by the author and photographs of Chinese miners taken by renowned photojournalist Ian Teh.” The texts are written in the form of poems and prose poems. See my review of this title here.
Sigrid Nunez. Mitz: The Marmoset of Bloomsbury. NY: Soft Skull Press, 2007. Contains a single blurry photograph of Pinka and Mitz, Leonard and Virginia Woolf’s spaniel and marmoset, on the final page of the book. No photograph is present in the first edition published as a hard cover book by Harper Collins in 1998.
David Peace. Occupied City. London: Faber & Faber, 2009. Contains a single blurry, unidentified image.
David Peace. Tokyo Year One. NY: Random House, 2007. Contains 4 documentary photographs of postwar Japan preceding the preface and each major section. One photograph (“Pan Pan Streetwalker”) is credited to Horace Bristol.
M. Anthony Penwill [pseudonym for Lindsay Seers]. It Has To Be This Way. London: Matt’s Gallery, 2009. From the back cover: “From a tangle of manuscripts, research notes and a fateful box of photographs, Lindsay Seers tries to make sense of her step-sister’s strange and desperate variant of Tarot in which photographs become a means of divination. The search for her missing sibling takes the artist to the Vatican Library in Rome, where Queen Christina of Sweden’s manuscripts may hold the key to Christine’s mysterious disappearance in Uppsala in 2000. As the photographs are translated through an excess and lack of memory, the characters who attempt to interpret them move fluidly across interlocking histories. Each photograph becomes destabilised by its shifting context and the interpretive nuances of its users. Christine’s fate hangs on the exegetical battle between two narrators, locked in a struggle for the truth of the photographs. In the end it is the photographic truth itself that is at stake.” Contains thirty photographs.
Vanessa Place. La Medusa. Tuscaloosa: FC2, University of Alabama Press, 2008. A Joycean novel about Los Angeles, containing a number of illustrations, including photographs of human brains.
Zach Plague. Boring Boring Boring Boring Boring. Chicago: Featherproof, 2008. Contains idiosyncratic typography and illustrations of various types, including photographs (most of which are details from a single image credited to Mary Sledd – seen here on the book’s cover).
Graham Rawle. Woman’s World: A Novel. London: Atlantic Books, 2005. A novel constructed entirely of collaged elements from 1960s women’s magazines, including many photographs.
Jack Robinson [pseudonym for Charles Boyle]. Recessional. London: CB Editions, 2009. A series of texts, each accompanied by a photograph.
Georges Rodenbach. Bruges-la-Morte. Cambridgeshire: Dedalus, 2005. Originally published in 1892, Rodenbach’s photograph-laden fin de siecle symbolist novel continues to draw readers. This new translation by Mike Mitchell and Will Stone replaces the original nineteenth century photographs with new ones by Will Stone, suggesting, among other things, that Bruges has changed little. This edition also has an Introduction by British novelist Alan Hollinghurst. Here is a link to all of my posts on Rodenbach’s book and its legacy.
Frederick Reuss. Mohr: A Novel. Denver: Unbridled Books, 2006. Reuss’s novel received comparison with Sebald’s work in part because of its theme of the impact of Nazism on German Jews as well as the use of interspersed snapshots – in this case, genuine Mohr family snapshots. Mohr was the author’s great uncle and a Jewish physician who fled Germany in 1937 to live in Shanghai, abandoning his family. The book’s epigraph is from the opening lines of the third section of Sebald’s After Nature.
Schomburg, Zachary. The Man Suit. Boston: Black Ocean, 2007. Poetry with four photographs. Each is a variant on the cover image; the first depicts the house and a tree, the second adds a sky full of starts, and the third adds the image of a constellation in the shape of a coffin, and the fourth image is twice as large and includes more trees.
Leanne Shapton. Important Artifacts and Personal Property from the Collection of Lenore Doolan and Harold Morris, Including Books, Street Fashion, and Jewelry. NY: Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 2009. “The dissolution of a relationship” told through auction catalog format. See my review here.
Matt Silady. The Homeless Channel. AiT/ Planet Lar, 2007. A graphic novel about a 24-hour cable channel called “The Homeless Channel. This is a borderline example of a photo-embedded graphic novel. Silady turned his photographs into line art, which he traced into photorealist drawings.
Sascha Steinsapir.Tale of Three Cities. NY: Javari, 2007. Limited to 150 unnumbered copies. A prose and poetry mash up of apartheid South Africa, the Hottentot Venus, the German photographer Sasha Stone (1895-1940, his real name was Aleksander Serge Steinsapir), Susan Sontag, and other elements. The prose sections move from a pseudo-documentary style to dream-like narratives. Steinsapir’s use of photography and other types of images is smart and edgy.
Rod Sweet. Instructions for the Apocalypse. NY: Mark Batty, 2009. Illustrated by Tim Williams using found photographs.
George Szirtes & Ronald King. The Burning of the Books. Suffolk: Full Circle Editions, 2009. Photocollages by King and a poem sequence by Szirtes “based on Elias Canetti’s novel Auto da Fe.” An earlier edition limited to 35 copies was produced in 2008 by Circle Press, in which King’s artwork consisted of 15 original etchings.
Bryan Talbot. Alice in Sunderland. Milwaukie, OR: Dark Horse Books, 2007. A graphic novel retelling of Alice in Wonderland that employs some photography.
Jonathan Tel. The Beijing of Possibilities. NY: Other Press, 2009. Short stories with embedded photographs. See my review here.
Carrie Tiffany. Everyman’s Rules for Scientific Living. Sydney: Pan Macmillan Australia, 2005. A young couple move to a small Australian town to pursue a “scientific” method of farming. Contains historic photographs credited to the State Library of Victoria.
Steve Tomasula. The Book of Portraiture. Normal, IL: Fiction Collective 2, 2006. Tomasula’s experimental novel includes various types of imagery, including photographs.
Jon Thompson. The Book of the Floating World. West Lafayette, IN: Parlor Press, 2007. This is a revised edition of the original 2004 book of the same name. Thompson uses forty-five b&w photographs taken in Occupied Japan in 1945 & 1946 by his father, William J. Thompson, as “points of departure” for his poems. The earlier edition contained only four photographs and had one more poem than this revised edition. In this edition, there is a photograph for every poem.
Leonid Tsypkin. Summer in Baden-Baden. London: Penguin, 2006. The Penguin paperback edition of 2006 is the first edition issued with embedded photographs taken by Tsypkin. These photographs were possibly intended for publication but not included in prior editions. (The 2001 edition by New Directions contained one photograph, which used as a frontispiece.) Here is a link to my posts about Leonid Tsypkin.
Melvin Van Peebles. Confessions of a Ex-Doofus Itchy Footed Mutha. NY: Akashic Books, 2009. “Art direction & story by Melvin Van Peebles, Illustrations by Caktus Tree..?” A graphic novel based upon his 2008 film of the same name. A number of film stills from the movie are used as the background for drawings in some of the panels.
John Vernon. Lucky Billy. NY: Houghton Mifflin, 2008. Contains a reproduction of a tintype of Billy the Kid.
Marianne Wiggins’. The Shadow Catcher. NY: Simon & Schuster, 2007. A twin narrative in which one thread follows a few days in the life of a Southern California writer named “Marianne Wiggins” while the alternating thread is a work of fiction she has written (a novella really) about the famous photographer of Native Americans Edward Curtis and the woman who became his wife, Clara. Here is a link to my post on this book.
Andrew Zornoza. Where I Stay. Grafton, VT: Sky Tarpaulin Press, 2009. Read my review here. Embedded photographs on every right-hand page of this diaristic novel.
Hi Terry, you may want to check out Saidiya Hartman’s 2007 book, “Lose Your Mother.” She uses images and interweaves personal story with a journey along the transatlantic slave route.
Caille, I will check this out. Thanks!
Wild Track: poems with pictures by friends by Mark Haworth-Booth. Trace Editions, 2005.
I haven’t sighted this, but as a book of poems accompanied by images by the former curator of photography at the V&A, it could be interesting.
Thanks for yet another tip. I can’t locate any source for the book either. But, I’ve known Mark Haworth-Booth for nearly 40 years, although we’ve been out of touch for a decade. I’ll email him.
The Doorbells of Florence : Fictional stories and photographs by Andrew Losowsky. Chronicle Books, San Fransisco, 2009.
Walking on Ashes by Winifred Weir. Puncher & Wattmann, Glebe NSW, 2009.
The title page of each chapter (except one) is illustrated with a photograph, several of the kind taken by commercial street photographers. They are uncredited, but appear to be the authors own family photos. There is also a letter, a newspaper article, and several official military documents reproduced.
The author’s brief introduction: “In 1914 men left for war expectant of a great adventure. So many died. So many returned haunted, silent, desperate with what they had seen and endured. Their families wore the legacy of their pain and loss. The truth of war is suffering and death. This story is my journey into understanding.”