What Does the Bereft Hand Offer?

The Hollow of the Hand
P.J. Harvey & Seamus Murphy
Bloomsbury
Oct 2015
$35.00

the_hollow_of_the_handBetween 2011 and 2014, critically acclaimed musician PJ Harvey and her friend, photographer and film-maker Seamus Murphy, set out on a series of journeys together to Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Washington DC.

Harvey describes the modus operandi of her collaboration with Murphy: ‘I would collect words, he would collect pictures, following our instincts on where we should go’. The place names alone intimate the subject matter of the book to a global citizen familiar with a news cycle: wars, wars, wars. But it is the ordinary person that the pair is interested in, the landscape and the streets, human faces, as well as distant horizons: ‘I wanted to smell the air, feel the soil and meet the people of the countries I was fascinated with’.

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Igloo

DO NOT OPEN: THE DISCARDED REFRIGERATORS OF POST-KATRINA NEW ORLEANSrefr

Laborde, Katheryn Krotzer (McFarland, August 2010, ISBN 9780786437894)

Colin knew the igloo would cause trouble. I’d erected it in our freezer from rings of ice-cubes I shaved so they’d lean in to make a dome. A tiny ice Eskimo kept watch near the door until, one day, Colin snapped it off to put into a drink. With its dying breath, the Eskimo vowed revenge. It placed a curse on the freezer.

After Colin moved to California to marry a woman he met on the internet, Hilary insisted we clear out the freezer so we could store food there. A hairdryer had no effect, so I started chipping out the igloo with a butter knife and mallet. Continue reading

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