Buy New
$57.05
Qty:1
  • List Price: $80.00
  • Save: $22.95 (29%)
Only 13 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Add to Cart
Want it tomorrow, April 18? Order within and choose One-Day Shipping at checkout. Details
Trade in your item
Get a $3.75
Gift Card.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more

Library of Dust Hardcover


See all 4 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from Collectible from
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$57.05
$50.57 $68.91 $50.64

Frequently Bought Together

Library of Dust + History's Shadow
Price for both: $128.30

Buy the selected items together
  • History's Shadow $71.25

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Image
Looking for the Audiobook Edition?
Tell us that you'd like this title to be produced as an audiobook, and we'll alert our colleagues at Audible.com. If you are the author or rights holder, let Audible help you produce the audiobook: Learn more at ACX.com.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 1 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books; First Edition edition (September 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811863336
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811863339
  • Product Dimensions: 17.2 x 13.5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #963,317 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Photographer David Maisel's work is held in the permanent collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum, among others.

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
5 star
7
4 star
1
3 star
1
2 star
0
1 star
0
See all 9 customer reviews
Highly recommended for anyone interested in the beauty in decay.
dinogirl
The very size of this book, a bit over 17 by 13 inches, suggests that it has something momentous to show you, as indeed it does.
Colin Westerbeck
Every deity revered by any human would recognize what David Maisel shares with us.
Liza Librarian

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Katherine W. O'Connor on October 28, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Because "Library of Dust" is unique in its subject matter and presentation, it defies comparison or categorization. In my experience people are either moved and fascinated by it or indifferent and I suspect that reflects their life experience and aesthetic.

I had been struggling to find out whether my distant relative was one of the unclaimed cremains at the Oregon State Hospital (hospital for the "insane" when my relative died there over 50 years ago) when we found this book. We found it to be a rare two dimensional representation of an emotionally charged, complicated historical era. How better could you communicate how embarrassingly insensitive and ineffective our closeting of inconvenient people was for so many years? This book is not accusatory or bitter; it is ethereal, hopeful and maybe just a little sad, but I do not find it in any way depressing. After "Library of Dust" began to have its impact, the state laws that restricted access by the public to information on what had happened to over 3,500 people were changed and I was then able to find out that my relative was indeed still there and both her cremains and limited (though complete) medical records (less than one page per year of institutional care) could be reclaimed by my family.

David Maisel revealed how these cremains had been hidden away and forgotten, like the people they had been, and yet, somehow these canisters and their contents became distinctly individual again and surprisingly beautiful in an eerie way. In the dark with no intervention from the living world, these lost souls evolved. What an amazing visual metaphor for the wonderfully idiosyncratic uniqueness in each of us--even after death. And the book is a stark reminder of society's responsibility to the more challenging members of our community.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Colin Westerbeck on November 1, 2010
Format: Hardcover
The very size of this book, a bit over 17 by 13 inches, suggests that it has something momentous to show you, as indeed it does. Though slender and easy to cradle in your lap, it is a slab of a book that looks as if it might also rest comfortably on the lectern in a pulpit. Though light in the hand, with the weightlessness of pure spirit, it has a certain gravitas about it, like a text delivered on a stone tablet from a mountain top.

What the book contains, though, is not a text, but a sequence of photographs. The book came about as the result of a brief article that caught David Maisel's eye in 2005. It told of some copper canisters that had been discovered at an Oregon State psychiatric hospital after decades of storage in an underground vault where they had been water-damaged. Because Maisel had made aerial photographs of open-pit copper mines, whose tailings discolor in amazing ways the water into which they're dumped, he suspected that these canisters might be extraordinary objects to see. There were 3,500 of them, each containing the unclaimed remains of a patient who'd died at the hospital and been cremated between 1883, when the facility opened as The Oregon State Insane Asylum, and the 1970s. During his first visit to the room in which the canisters were now stored in neat rows on floor-to-ceiling shelving, a prison inmate on a clean-up detail stuck his head in the room and, letting out a low whistle, said softly, "the library of dust."

Like the pollution from the copper mines, these canisters fit a pattern in Maisel's career of photographing what he calls "things that aren't intended to be seen." He was moved by the poignancy of the fact that these objects represented people "who had been . . .
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By M.M. Learmonth on November 3, 2010
Format: Hardcover
In the late 70's I worked in a psychiatric hospital in Wales, UK, where there were still women who had been incarcerated for having illegitimate children in the 1930's. In the early 80's I worked in a hospital in Cheshire, UK, where nurses brought bags of cigarette stubs from home to give to patients as `rewards'. Chewing these dog ends was a popular means of ingestion. This was considered amusing.
I have often thought that the forgotten inmates of these hidden hells needed something like a Holocaust memorial. When I first saw one of the images from the `Library of Dust' in New Scientist, I instantly felt that David Maisel had a given us a huge contribution towards that.
Whatever the strange alchemy that corroded the canisters in this extraordinary way the outcome is hauntingly, strangely, beautiful. Some of them look like weather systems on strange planets or maps of ocean currents: they have a quality that I can only call soul.
As an art psychotherapist I work every day with the capacity of art making to express, contain, transform, and heal suffering and trauma. This individual healing power of art can sometimes work at a social and cultural level too. The Library of Dust helps us to face and remember the collective shame of `the bins', as they were appropriately nicknamed in the UK. The Russian poet Yevtushenko wrote that `That which has not been expressed/ Will be forgotten/That which has been forgotten/Will happen again'. This work, with all its eerie beauty, stands as art: but is also a step towards healing a deep shared cultural wound, and is a medicine against forgetfulness.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Product Images from Customers

Search
ARRAY(0x9f0cdcf0)

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?