Still Life with Book: A series by Juliette Tang November 4, 2013 – Posted in: Books and Art, Photography

“I saw her running at me, shrieking, with a whirl of fire blazing all about her.” -Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

If we had a Book Patrol Hall of Fame photographer Juliette Tang would make it in on the first ballot.

She describes her attraction to books:

When people ask me why I take so many photos of books, I always give the same straightforward response. Books capture my imagination. It’s a short answer. It’s also an honest answer. But, I can elaborate.

Reading them, taking photos of them, writing them, writing about them, and just having them near me, everything to do with books has always fascinated me. They’re my big passion (other than photography). In college I was an English major. I’ve graduated, but I’m still studying the old books. I’ll never stop being a student of literature.


“‘You are burnt beyond recognition,’ he added, looking at his wife as one looks at a valuable piece of personal property which has suffered some damage. She held up her hands, strong, shapely hands, and surveyed them critically, drawing up her fawn sleeves above the wrists. Looking at them reminded her of her rings, which she had given to her husband before leaving for the beach. She silently reached out to him, and he, understanding, took the rings from his vest pocket and dropped them into her open palm.” -Kate Chopin, The Awakening.


In 2011 Tang did a series of still life photographs featuring, yep you guessed it, books. Here is but a taste of this fabulous series.

 “When you were six you thought mistress meant to put your shoes on the wrong feet. Now you are older and know it can mean many things, but essentially it means to put your shoes on the wrong feet… It is like having a book out from the library. It is like constantly having a book out from the library.” -Lorrie Moore, Self Help.


“Shouldn’t death, I thought, be a swan dive, graceful, white-winged and smooth, leaving the surface undisturbed?” -Don DeLillo, White Noise


A still life featuring King, Queen, Knave by Vladimir Nabokov.


The rest of the series is here Still Life with Book – a set on Flickr.

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