Is there a “Rosebud” object in your past? A long-vanished thing that lingers in your memory—whether you want it to or not? As much as we may treasure the stuff we own, perhaps just as significant are the objects we have, in one way or another, lost. What is it about these bygone objects? Why do they continue to haunt us long after they’ve vanished from our lives?
In Lost Objects, editors Joshua Glenn and Rob Walker have gathered answers to those questions in the form of 50 true stories from a dazzling roster of writers, artists, thinkers, and storytellers, including Lucy Sante, Ben Katchor, Lydia Millet, Neil LaBute, Laura Lippman, Geoff Manaugh, Paola Antonelli, Margaret Wertheim, and many more. Each spins a unique narrative that tells a personal tale, and dives into the meaning of objects that remain present to us emotionally, even after they have physically disappeared.
To bring this collection of essays even more vividly to life, the editors gathered a similarly impressive array of artists to illustrate these meaningful things that have gone missing. Visual contributors include Seth, Kate Bingaman-Burt, Oliver Munday, Lisa Congdon, Matt Wuerker, Anita Kunz, Alex Eben Meyer, Gary Panter, and Kelli Anderson.
Glenn and Walker began Lost Objects following the success of Significant Objects, a project-turned-book collecting fictional stories inspired by thrift store finds. With Lost Objects, they have shifted to nonfiction narratives in their continuing exploration of objects and meaning.
Supplemented by additional analyses from the editors and an original foreword from noted design writer Debbie Millman, the book combines evocative storytelling, art, and design, rewarding deep readers and visual thinkers alike. We have all lost something that was meaningful—and that we’ll never forget. While we may never recover this Rosebud, Lost Objects will teach us something new about why it mattered in the first place, and matters still.
We recommend that guests wear masks on the night.
Dan Fox is the author of Pretentiousness: Why It Matters and Limbo. He has been a co-editor of Frieze magazine and is, with Marcus Werner Hed, co-director of the documentary Other, Like Me: The Oral History of COUM Transmissions and Throbbing Gristle. He co-runs the label Junior Aspirin Records, and is a member of the band The God in Hackney.
Joshua Glenn is a consulting semiotician and coauthor of The Adventurer’s Glossary, Unbored: The Essential Field Guide to Serious Fun, and (with Rob Walker) Significant Objects, among other books. He is editor of HILOBROW.com and the MIT Press’s Radium Age series.
Mimi Lipson is a writer living in New York City. Her short story collection, The Cloud of Unknowing, was published in 2014 by Yeti Press.
Debbie Millman is host of the podcast Design Matters, Chair of the Masters in Branding Program at the School of Visual Arts, Editorial Director of PrintMag.com, and the author of seven books on design and branding. Her book Why Design Matters: Conversations with the World’s Most Creative People was published by HarperCollins earlier this year.
Stephen O’Connor is the author of six books: Thomas Jefferson Dreams of Sally Hemings, a novel; Here Comes Another Lesson, short stories; and the forthcoming collection of poetry, Quasimode. His fiction has appeared in the New Yorker, Harper’s, Best American Short Stories, and many other places. He teaches creative writing at Sarah Lawrence.
Lucy Sante’s books include Low Life, The Factory of Facts, Kill All Your Darlings, The Other Paris, and Maybe the People Would Be the Times. Nineteen Reservoirs will be published in August. She teaches at Bard College.
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