Important Artifacts and Personal Property from the Collection of Lenore Doolan and Harold Morris, Including Books, Street Fashion, and Jewelry

One of the most delicious treats of a very wonderful weekend has been reading the book, Important Artifacts and Personal Property from the collection of Lenore Doolan and Harold Morris, including Books, Street Fashion, and Jewelry. Perhaps you've already read it because it was praised by the New York Times (author Leanne Shapton works for the Op-Ed page), Macleans (Shapton worked here as an art director!) and young hippie (hipster/yuppies... what do you call them?) people.

Anyhow, it was also recommended to me by my friend Rachel, whose opinion is always rock solid. So I get this little book on Friday from the public library and I am immediately charmed. Take this epigraph from Novalis: "We seek the absolute everywhere, and only ever find things," and that pretty much sums of the jist of the book, only Shapton tells her story so imaginatively and delicately.

Important Artifacts (literally) catalogs the relationship of a now defunct couple - Lenore Doolan and Harold Morris, a New York Times food writer and international commercial photographer, respectively - through their things. It's not so much a book as an auction catalog where a curator has photographed and described each of the items with a polite and neutral eye. For instance, see Lot 1156:
An invitation and a program
An invitation to the National Newspaper Awards. Dooland was nominated for her New York Times story about blancmange. 6 x 6 in.
Not illustrated.
As Dolland was Instanbul, she could not attend the awards ceremony
The story unfolds through letters, gift exchanges, photographs, among other items, that illustrate rose-tinted beginnings and a despondent demise.

It's been reported that the rights to the "novel" have been picked up by Paramount Pictures for adaptation into a romantic comedy starring Brad Pitt and Natalie Portman. So have a look at this lovely book while you can still stand to.

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