The OF Blog: Blog About Surreal Botany Day

Friday, August 15, 2008

Blog About Surreal Botany Day

Although I've been swamped with work (and it's about to get even heavier if a certain arrangement takes place in the next few days), I just wanted to say that I received a copy of Janet Chui and Jason Erik Lundberg's illustrated A Field Guide to Surreal Botany in enough time to meet the scheduled August 15th book pimp day. Despite not having much time at all to think, much less read, the past few weeks, I just wanted to say that my very early impressions, based on a few almost-randomly chosen entries, is a very positive one.

A Field Guide to Surreal Botany perhaps can be best described as being a nature illustration book for non-existent flora. As a child, I remember spending hours reading and re-reading the encyclopedic-style entries on various North American plants and in appearance, Chui and Lundberg's book (which includes numerous entries from authors such as Jay Lake, Mark Teppo, Darja Malcolm-Clarke, and Vera Nazarian, among others) closely mimics that style. However, as one begins reading entries such as "Burning Bush Fungus" and "Queen Victoria's Bloomers/Monkey Ho" (by John Bowker and Eric Schaller, respectively), one gets a fuller sense of the surrealness and oddity on display. Illustrated by Chui herself, the drawings add to the strangeness of each entry, as hopefully the picture below will demonstrate:

Clocking in at a shade over 70 pages, A Field Guide to Surreal Botany never risks becoming too bloated. If anything, the opposite may be true, as the entries I have read have each been entertaining to read and to consider. I hope to finish reading this book this weekend, as it is the perfect complement for one of the more surreal jobs any human can ever work - high school social studies teacher.

Release Date: July 2008 (Singapore, with US distribution)

Publisher: Two Cranes Press


Dark Wolf said...

Must be an interesting read and I only can imagine the drawings.

Larry said...

Yes, it's a very cool read and Chui's illustrations are excellent. You'd probably enjoy it quite a bit, Mihai.

By the way, I've barely glanced at my email in recent weeks, so I apologize for not replying in a timely fashion. Glad to hear you had a wonderful vacation to Portugal! :D

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