Two, Melissa Ann Pinney, 2015

A difficult book to classify since it could be Art, Essays, or even non-fiction, but let it be art, since the primary focus of the author is her photography, in each case a pair—a pair of hands, a pair of chairs, a pair of people, etc.  I was far less taken with the photographs than with the wonderful, brief writing that is interspersed with the photographs.  Edwidge Danticat writing about washing a fellow congregant’s feet, Billy Collins’  wonderful poem about his dog and him moving around the house, Allen Gurganus and Elizabeth McCracken writing about being a twin, Jane Hamilton about an inner city girl paired with her for 2 weeks in the summer (Oak Park, 1967!), Barbara Kingsolver and Maile Meloy writing about parents and grandparents, Susan Orlean writing about chickens, and Richard Russo writing about anxiety and the final comments, and Elizabeth Gilbert about her editor.  These are outstanding writers who wrote wonderful pieces, no doubt because Ann Patchett wrote the introduction and asked them.  Fine collection of writing; okay collection of photographs.