Photo-Embedded Fiction & Poetry 2014
Here is my bibliography of works of fiction and poetry published in 2014 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. [Last updated December 26, 2021.]
Jeffery Renard Allen. Song of the Shank. Minneapolis: Graywolf Press, 2014. Several photographs credited to various sources.
Martin Amis. The Zone of Interest. London: Jonathan Cape, 2014. Contains a single photograph of Adolf Hitler and Martin Bormann placed between the final page and the Acknowledgements.
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, 2014. Contains sixteen unattributed photographs.
Robert Joseph Bevenour. Road to Yasukuni. Tucson: Wheatmark, 2014. A historical novel that contains twenty-four photographs of World War II, credited to various sources.
Edgar Cantero. The Supernatural Enhancements. NY: Doubleday, 2014. A haunted house tale that includes ciphers, hand-drawn labyrinths, and several photographs of documents.
Nandi Chinna. Swamp: Walking the Wetlands of the Swan Coastal Plain. Fremantle: Fremantle Press, 2014. Poems with twenty-one images, mostly photographs, but also several maps and illustrations. Ten of the photographs are by the author.
Teju Cole. Every Day Is for the Thief. NY: Random House, 2014. 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), 2014. 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, 2014. 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. Amusements de mécanique. Paris: P.O.L., 2014. Doppelt’s typical prose poems with her grids of b&w photographs.
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.
Colette Fellous. La préparation de la vie. Paris: Editions Gallimard, 2014. In this novel, Roland Barthes has become the “vagabond guide” for Fellous as she explores her relationship to Tunisia, where she grew up. With photographs.
Xiaolu Guo. I Am China. NY: Doubleday, 2014. A London-based translator is given a stack of mysterious photocopied documents to translate from the Chinese. As she works her way through the documents, she begins to suspect that the author is the son of a high -ranking Chinese official, a young man who has rejected his own government, become a rock musician, and is now a “non-person” and on the run for his life. But where is he and can he be found before the Chinese government gets to him? The book reproduces photographs and images of various Chinese texts.
James Hannaham. Card Tricks. Electric Literature, 2014. (Electric Literature’s Recommended Reading Book 101). E-book only. Hannaham wrote wall labels for art that didn’t exist and then had an exhibition at a gallery on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn, New York, where he (or someone) made photographs of the wall labels and the vacant neighboring spaces where the art should have been. The photographs and the texts of the wall labels constitute this brief e-book, which pokes fun at the pretensions of artworld writing.
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, 2014. 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, 2014. Poems and photo-based artwork, all by Harvey.
Kerry Hines. Young Country. Auckland: University of Auckland Press, 2014. 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, 2014. 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.
James Knight. In the Dark Room. n.p.: Cipher Books, 2014. A surreal novel of a bed-ridden man’s dreams. With color photographs on every other page by the author.
Zachary Lazar. I Pity the Poor Immigrant. NY: Little Brown, 2014. Includes several variously credited photographs.
Ben Lerner. 10:04. NY: Faber & Faber, 2014. 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, 2014. 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, 2014. 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, 2014. 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.”
Zia Haider Rahman. In the Light of What We Know. NY: Farrar Straus & Giroux, 2014. Contains a single image of Kurt Gödel and Albert Einstein walking in Princeton.
Claudia Rankine. Citizen: An American Lyric. Minneapolis: Graywolf, 2014. Book-length poem with numerous photographs from a variety of sources, mostly contemporary artworks, along with some photojournalism.
Ransom Riggs. Hollow City. Philadelphia: Quirk, 2014. 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.
Nicholas Rombes. The Absolution of Acestes Laing. Two Dollar Radio, 2014. Contains a single photograph, a film still credited to the archives of the Museum of the City of New York.
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, 2014. Contains numerous credited photographs.
James Wilson. Three Bridges. Miami: Neverland, 2014. A novel with numerous uncredited photographs.
Brad Zellar. House of Coates. Minneapolis: Coffee House Press, 2014. Contains more than sixty photographs by Alec Soth.