Home Search Exhibits Intro FAQs

Work >>Edition(s) >>Object(s) >>Images


Project Statement

by J. Drucker

Susan Bee and I had long talked about doing a collaborative work. We share many interests and sensibilities. We had experimented with a dialogue/exchange in the mid-1990s, when I was in New Haven. I printed something on the press and then sent her the sheets and she was going to respond and then return the sheets. This never panned out. I forget if we went beyond one round of exchange or not, thinking that we should do the project when we could be in the same place at the same time. A Girl's Life sprang into being when Steve Clay offered to publish a collaboration between us. The inspiration for the book was what I call the "pink magazines" -- those publications for tweens that produce a discourse of girl culture. I wrote a long narrative based on Ivanhoe (!) since that was very much in mind at the time. Then we tweaked it into a shorter and ever shorter text (Susan helped) until we had just what remains. She did the collages independently, and then we worked on sequencing and design in several visits she paid to Virginia. The work is truly collaborative and the hybrid sensibility produced exactly the look of lost innocence we were after for the project.

A Girl's Life

Johanna Drucker


Johanna Drucker

type: initiating


born: United States
active: United States
citizenship: United States

birth: 1952-05-30

Susan Bee

type: initiating


active: United States

Granary Books

type: other


location: New York, NY

Publication Information

publisher: Granary Books

publication: 2002-00-00

publication history: A Girls's Life is a collaboration between Johanna Drucker and Susan Bee published in 2002 by Granary Books. [A. Schutte]

Aesthetic Profile

feminism (AAT)
postmodern (AAT)

artists' books (LCSH)

themes: girlhood, pop culture [A. Schutte]

content form:
narrative (local)
collage (local)
experimental text (local)

publication tradition:
artists' book (local)
zine (local)

inspiration: Pink magazines [J. Drucker]

related works: Narratology, History of the/my World, Simulant Portrait -- the "girl" books [J. Drucker]

other influences: Ivanhoe [J. Drucker]

community: other Friendship and also the Ivanhoe group at UVa [J. Drucker]

note: The Ivanhoe references are apparent only to someone who is acquainted with that novel, but Becky is unmistakable. [J. Drucker]

Exhibition Information

exhibition history: See C.V.

reception history: Back cover comments include: "...It's dazzling. It's a riot." from Rosmarie Waldrop and "...Read this outrageous, funny, and touching book and don't be clueless anymore. Here they come, ready or not, everyone around their base is IT!" from Jerome McGann.

Related Documents

manuscript type: other

location: artist's archive

note: Many images, notes, and other materials exist.

manuscript type: texts

location: artist's archive

note: The long manuscript and edited versions exist.

manuscript type: mockups

location: artist's archive

note: Trials and alternative layouts, designs, typographic considerations, all exist.

manuscript type: other

location: artist's archive

note: As noted above, many manuscript materials for this edition are extant.