"Important Artifacts and Personal Property From the Collection of Lenore Doolan and Harold Morris Including Books, Street Fashion, and Jewelry" by Leanne Shapton; Farrar, Straus and Giroux; $18
Fashioned like an auction catalog, the bittersweet journey of a couple from first blush to dissolution is traced via black-and-white photographs of objects accumulated during their time together. Without benefit of a narrative, character development and story arc are sparingly intimated through images of their possessions: a cocktail napkin scrawled with Lenore's e-mail address; a hand-drawn Valentine's Day dinner menu; a collection of vintage hats (hers); a pair of striped pajamas (his); assorted books, party invitations and used airline tickets; an angry note scrawled on a takeout menu. A whiff of loss emanates from the objective descriptions of the items. Accompanying a picture of the couple at a Halloween party, the description states: "First known photograph of the couple together. Photographer unknown. Small tack holes in corners."
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