Was She Pretty?

Was She Pretty?

Book - 2006
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"Everybody's got an ex. And at some point in time, everybody's been one too. Artist/writer Leanne Shapton was reminded of this while staying at a new boyfriend's apartment for the first time. Everywhere she looked, she found pictures of his ex-girlfriend. Even in the kitchen, there she was: his ex, starting out from a photograph magneted to the refrigerator door.".
"So Shapton started looking at strangers she passed on the street, sitting across from her on the bus, blowing their noses in restaurants. Each one was somebody's ex. What qualities did they have that their replacements didn't? And vice versa? Fascinated by her own curiosity and jealousy, Shapton plumbed the depths of her paranoia and interviewed friends and acquaintances about their anxieties and peccadilloes.".
"The result is a book of unsurpassed originality: one of those unusual books that come along to delight us all. In Was She Pretty?, Shapton offers us a taste of the strange cocktail of admiration and intimidation we have for our lovers' lovers. And in this gem, Shapton weaves a voyeuristic tale of love and life through epigrammatic vignettes and evocative line drawings. Entire relationships are encapsulated in a few stingingly perfect lines.".
"Was She Pretty? can share the shelf with the work of the legendary William Steig, whose psychologically revealing early work inspired Shapton. An unflinching observer of human behavior, she invites us to peer into others' hearts - while reminding us that we shouldn't be surprised if we see ourselves staring right back."--Book jacket.
Publisher: New York : Sarah Crichton Books/Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2006
Edition: 1st ed
Description: 198 p. : ill. ; 22 cm
ISBN: 9780374299262
0374299269
0374224424
Branch Call Number: 818 Sha

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kwsmith
Jun 25, 2017

What is it that binds us so tightly to the memories of our ex-lovers? Shapton delves into this murky topic by interviewing her friends about their boyfriend's ex-girlfriends. The illustrations are crudely drawn, and the words are few and perhaps not insightful enough. Still, this short book addresses a very interesting topic in a delightfully unique and artistic way.

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BillWA
Jun 20, 2016

At first, I didn't think this was going to do much for me, but after about 10 portraits of ex-boy and girlfriends, I started to really get into it. Honestly, I can't say I understand what it all means, but like her later book, _Important Artifacts and Personal Property from the Collection of Lenore Doolan and Harold Morris, Including Books, Street Fashion, and Jewelry_, there's something really compelling about the 'story'.

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