I wanted to write about following collection of short stories called The Cardboard Book Project as the author, Jemma Foster, embarked on a fascinating journey to Buenos Aires, Argentina to concentrate on her writing and these books were the outcome. Aside from them looking really stylish, they also support a nation that is in real need of funding as for every book sold in the UK, a book will be donated to Abuelacuentacuentos, (a charity that sends elderly volunteers to read to children in the poorest parts of the country) but most importantly, the books make for a really fascinating read; if not a little quirky!
The collection looks at ideas and philosophical concepts that have niggled, fascinated and haunted Jemma for some time and consist of twelve grown-up short Stories. Here is what Jemma has written about them on her website:
“Inspired by the recycled cardboard books made by the Eloisa Cartonera group, Jemma put together a definitive collection of short stories. The theme of the human senses not only binds the tales together as a body of work but also acts as an umbrella over the ideas and philosophical concepts that have niggled, fascinated and haunted Jemma for some time. The first six of the set explore the traditional, physical senses of touch, taste, smell, sound, sight and the ‘sixth’, while the second group take on the more obscure, mental senses of love, hate, dream, memory, intelligence and insanity.
Below is an extract from one of the short stories called: The Undeertaker
Illustration by Karen Raingold
“Felix de la Rosa had no need for a map, nor a compass, to navigate his way through the Amazon. For many years he had, literally, followed his nose and this time was no exception. You see, Felix’s nose was rather extraordinary. To the naked eye it did not appear to be a particularly interesting or spectacular proboscis – ugly, disproportional and slightly askew – certainly not the sort of snout that an olfactory chemist dreams of.’
A bit about about Jemma’s books:
Often disguised as the bizarre and fantastical, the stories, laced with South American influences, also offer a darker commentary on the curiosities of the human psyche. The names of the characters themselves were taken from the gravestones of those long dead and perhaps forgotten, gathered along her travels from Argentina to Colombia, so that they may live on in a story and be a part of something once again.
Below are some pictures of the Eloisa Cartonera group which inspired Jemma’s collection. Click the link and read more about this publishing company, another fascinating and heartwarming story.
The collection of books can be purchased through Jemma’s website: The Cardboard Book Project