Monday, February 20, 2012

The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt

In case you've been wondering what a distant cousin of a graphic novel would look like, I think it just might be The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt. Calling itself a novel in pictures, it takes on the format of a scrapbook kept by a young woman during the 1920's.

Author Caroline Preston, who has a background as an archivist, creates page spreads that include a mix of photos, clippings, snippets of text, and other ephemera from the time period. I, of course, loved looking at all of the Jazz Age memorabilia.

Through these items, the story of Frankie's life emerges: her college years at Vassar, where she encounters Edna St. Vincent Millay; her post-college years living in Greenwich Village as an aspiring writer; and her foray to Paris, where she lives in an apartment above Shakespeare & Co. and edits stories by the likes of James Joyce.

The story itself isn't a must-read. It's plotted more for convenience, to hit upon the key people and places of the time period, rather than to tell a really original story. The unique presentation just about makes up for that, though. It's definitely worth flipping through the next time you're spending a few hours at the bookstore.

1 comment:

  1. This definitely looks interesting, but like you said, I probably wouldn't want to buy it. Although I will absolutely check it out next time I go to a bookstore!



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