Old Joy.  Photographs by Justine Kurland. Fiction by Jonathan Raymond.
Old Joy.  booktease preview.

Old Joy.

Photographs by Justine Kurland. Fiction by Jonathan Raymond.
Artspace Books, San Francisco, 2004. 72 pp., 16 color illustrations, 6x8".

In this playful, unassuming collaboration, Kurland and Raymond team up in an unconventional arrangement. Kurland is an MFA Photography graduate of Yale (1998) whose staged photographs of adolescent girls have won her much international attention in recent years and Raymond, a young writer who’s debut novel, The Half-Life, was published this past June. Raymond’s short story is surrounded on all sides, so to speak, by Kurland’s rich color photographs, but neither the images nor the storyline are fully interwoven; they simply coexist in the space between the covers of the book. At most, the settings and time of year are common. The serenity of her images of copper colored pine needles in late Fall is broken by the appearance of a cast of naked figures, either egressing from or regressing into the thick undergrowth. The utopian impression one is left with is heightened by the broad age range of the people. Raymond’s story, on the other hand, centers around two college friends, one involved with career and community life, the other, a drifter who’s attraction to nature is both abiding and mystical. Their overnight hike to forest hot tubs is replete with scenes of quietude ocassionally broken by a remembered story or the twinges of a fading friendship.

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