I’m happy to announce that I have finally finished At the World’s Edge.
On the left, is the cover–designed by Jan Westendorp. It combines a picture of Curt snapped sometime in the late sixties with a photo of Vancouver’s Granville Street which Curt took in 1972. This was part of a mammoth street photography project Curt undertook. The National Gallery in Ottawa has a few of Curt’s images, but the vast majority (approximately 12,000) now reside in the Vancouver Public Library–Special Collections. If you click on the previous link and search for Curt Lang, you will find the library has made a few photos accessible electronically. At the World’s Edge, however, includes many images that are not available elsewhere.
I was rather amused a few weeks ago, when I called the Vancouver Public Library’s Special Collections to get some information about Curt’s photography. “Oh,” said the librarian, “We have ordered a new book about Curt Lang. It will be arriving in the fall. Perhaps that might help you.”
‘Who else could be writing a book about Curt?’ I wondered. ‘And why had I heard nothing about this project?’ Then the penny dropped.
“Is the book called, At the World’s Edge, by any chance?” I asked the librarian. After a minute’s silence, she replied, “Yes that’s it.”
“That’s my book!” I exclaimed. “So it’s not going to help me, unfortunately.”
Jan is still working on the design of the book’s interior–combining images and text. I should have more to report about that in a couple of weeks. I am very pleased that Greg Lang, Curt’s brother, has provided an introduction and David Beers, publisher of the on line magazine Tyee, is writing a foreword. Dan Francis, BC historian and the author/editor of more than twenty books had this to say about At the World’s Edge: “Lang was a pivotal member of Vancouver’s ‘beat generation,’ the hipsters, writers and artists who set themselves against the comfortable pieties of post-war consumer society. Cornwall’s book is a fond recollection of her subject and the times in which he lived.”
Mona Fertig at Mother Tongue Publishing has been arranging a busy fall reading schedule for me. I will be announcing dates later, but so far, appearances will include the Vancouver Public Library, the West Vancouver Memorial Library, the Lynn Valley Library, and the White Rock Library. If you know an institution, group (a book club, perhaps, or photography club) that might be interested in a talk or reading, shoot me a comment!