By Ann Tyler
Chicago, Illinois: Ann Tyler, 2007. Edition of 50.
8.25 x 7.75"; 32 pages. Set in Snell Roundhand and Caslon. Letterpress printed on Cranes Lettra acid-free paper. Bound in pink cloth with black accents. Three hole stab binding with black ribbon lacing. Images tipped in with scrapbook picture corners. Bibliography included for source material.
One of Tyler's three books about lynching, each with a uniquely indirect approach to the subject.
Souvenirs appears to be a scrapbook from an earlier time. Each spread pairs a photograph of a rabbit, innocent, almost cuddly, with text that is far from innocent: "As the fire died down relic hunters started their hunt for souvenirs. Parts of the skull and body were carried away." A bibliography reveals that the words come from newspaper reports of lynchings. The juxtaposition, presented without comment, is shocking and revealing.
Ann Tyler, colophon: "My enduring appreciation of Constance White. Together we have researched the history of lynching in the United States and engaged in critical analysis of the effects of torture on language, the body, and the body politic. The art we each have created would not be what it is had we not proceeded together."