What does that mean?
It means that her new collection of short-fiction is being published in hand-set monotype, printed on a 1890 Chandler-Price press.
Hugh Barclay of Thee Hellbox Press notes: “Letterpress, unlike offset, leaves a tactile impression in the paper that will sometimes sparkle in the slanting morning sun.” (I love that: it only all our written words would actually sparkle.)
But this edition really goes further than that. Delicious details:
• A numbered edition of 300 copies. (And my copy, reserved long ago, is #1!)
• Hard cover, case bound, allowing it to be opened flat.
• The cover boards are wrapped in Ajisia Gold, a colourfast Japanese paper. (The name translates into hycinthia.)
• Some uncut pages. (Don’t books with uncut pages simply thrill you?)
• Merilyn’s son, artist Erik Mohr, has created over fifteen outstanding lino cuts to go with the stories.
• The endpapers are individual works of art created by Emily Cook, reflecting Merilyn’s gardens. The paper contains flowers from her gardens. All of this reflects the theme of the collection: the stories in the main deal with gardens and the human situations around them.
• The book is printed on St. Armand’s mold made acid free paper known as “salad” paper.
• All materials used in the book—including adhesives used in binding—are acid free to ensure longevity.
Almost a half-century ago, I stumbled into a used bookstore in San Francisco seeking a book by the poet Kenneth Patchen. The owner guided me to a numbered edition with cover art by the poet. I flew out of that store with that book in my arms! It is now one of my treasures. (And worth quite a lot.)
If you or someone you know would love a book as art object—made painstakingly in the old-fashioned way—and, in addition, if you’d like a work by Merilyn, who is such a fine literary writer (see her books here), I recommend that you contact Hugh to reserve one of these numbered copies of The Paradise Project for yourself. The price: $150 Cdn. is very reasonable for such a collector’s edition. Hugh Barclay can be reached at .