Sean Howe
March 11, 2009 AT 04:00 AM EDT

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

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Leanne Shapton
publisher
Farrar, Straus & Giroux
genre
Fiction

We gave it a B+

It’s a brilliant conceit for a book: a faux auction catalog consisting of sediment — love letters, vintage clothes, paperbacks, etc. — left in the wake of a couple’s breakup. As the highs and lows of Lenore and Harold’s relationship (2002?06) slowly reveal themselves in Important Artifacts and Personal Property from the Collection of Lenore Doolan and Harold Morris, Including Books, Street Fashion, and Jewelry, you’re likely to find yourself swooning and cursing along with the lovers. Of course, there’s something suffocating about their privileged and meticulously curated lives — their cleverly inscribed first editions, vintage designer clothes, stationery from the Chateau Marmont, postcards of Nan Goldin photos, tastefully hip mix CDs — and so you may also find that you hate them. A sly critique of materialism by Leanne Shapton? You be the judge. B+

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