Sometime in late August, Hyphen Magazine contacted me and asked me if I would like to do book reviews for them. Naturally, I said ‘yes’. I mean, I already read way too many books, why not write reviews about them as well, right? The best part about this gig is that I get to keep the books and they’re usually first editions. This particular copy I received of Ed Young’s The House Baba Built is actually uncorrected colour proofs. Honestly, at first I thought something had happened to the book. I picked it up and it fell apart in my hands! It was only then that I realised I was holding something kind of rare: a book in the final stages of editing. I’m sure the actual book does not look radically different from the one I have with the exception, I suppose, that the book has now been stitched together.
Anyway, click here to read my review. Below is an excerpt:
“Using a creative blend of collages, old photographs and pencil and ink portraits to tell his story, the author implies that one’s memory of events does not really present the truth of those events. What we remember is colored by the mind’s ability to reorder events, assign personal meanings to them and revise entire sequences to fit in with our own perception. Young himself remarks in his Author’s Note that he “also learned to come to terms with the limits of human efforts in recreating reality — any human creation, no matter its completeness or point of view, is at best a mere fragment of life itself.” In keeping with that idea, Young populates the pages with family portraits right next to cut-outs and photographs pasted onto sketches.”