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Artists' Books
Hannah Batsel
Art Library Rare Books Collection N7433.4.B3885 M36 2015 box 1.1

Limited edition of fifty copies, signed and numbered by the artist, the Art Library has copy 13. "The set consists of four stories whose physical and narrative structure nest within one another like Russian nesting dolls. The books can be read separately, but when taken together, reveal a legacy of greed and colonialism across generations. Every time a new character's name is spoken, a new book begins that follows that character's life story. The first book's protagonist is a wealthy shut-in who becomes obsessed with an exotic deity; the three enclosed books reveal this retired businessman's colonialist past and the history of the deity's native land. With every book, the narrative as a whole moves backwards chronologically in time. The visual style echoes that of 19th-century children's mass-market hardcover adventure books, whose bright and captivating illustrations belied the troubling imperialist messages conveyed within." — Artist's statement at the Vamp & Tramp Booksellers' website, viewed on June 22, 2016.