By Joshua Glenn and Rob Walker
Hardcover, 152 pages
6.5 inches x 9 inches
16.51 cm x 22.86 cm
50 color illustrations
Is there a “Rosebud” object in your past? A long-vanished thing that lingers in your memory—whether you want it to or not? As much as we may treasure the stuff we own, perhaps just as significant are the objects we have, in one way or another, lost. What is it about these bygone objects? Why do they continue to haunt us long after they’ve vanished from our lives?
In Lost Objects, editors Joshua Glenn and Rob Walker have gathered answers to those questions in the form of 50 true stories from a dazzling roster of writers, artists, thinkers, and storytellers, including Lucy Sante, Ben Katchor, Lydia Millet, Neil LaBute, Laura Lippman, Geoff Manaugh, Paola Antonelli, Margaret Wertheim, and many more. Each spins a unique narrative that tells a personal tale, and dives into the meaning of objects that remain present to us emotionally, even after they have physically disappeared.
To bring this collection of essays even more vividly to life, the editors gathered a similarly impressive array of artists to illustrate these meaningful things that have gone missing. Visual contributors include Seth, Kate Bingaman-Burt, Oliver Munday, Lisa Congdon, Matt Wuerker, Anita Kunz, Alex Eben Meyer, Gary Panter, and Kelli Anderson.
Glenn and Walker began Lost Objects following the success of Significant Objects, a project-turned-book collecting fictional stories inspired by thrift store finds. With Lost Objects, they have shifted to nonfiction narratives in their continuing exploration of objects and meaning.
Supplemented by additional analyses from the editors and an original foreword from noted design writer Debbie Millman, the book combines evocative storytelling, art, and design, rewarding deep readers and visual thinkers alike. We have all lost something that was meaningful—and that we’ll never forget. While we may never recover this Rosebud, Lost Objects will teach us something new about why it mattered in the first place, and matters still.
HUNTING HAT by Oliver Munday
DODGE DART by Mister Reusch
WARHOL CAN by Clara Selina Bach
ROCKY HORROR NOVEL by Berta Vallo
Joshua Glenn is a consulting semiotician and coauthor of The Adventurer’s Glossary, Unbored: The Essential Field Guide to Serious Fun, and (with Rob Walker) Significant Objects, among other books. He is editor of HILOBROW.com and the MIT Press’ Radium Age series. Follow him via Instagram: @hilobrow.
Rob Walker is the author of The Art of Noticing and its spinoff newsletter, at robwalker.substack.com. His prior books are Significant Objects (with Joshua Glenn), Buying In, and Letters from New Orleans. He is a longtime contributor to The New York Times and teaches at the School of Visual Arts. More at robwalker.net.