By the Book


Published by: Biblioasis

ISBN: 9781927428818

Once touted as compendiums of human knowledge, the encyclopedias and handbooks of bygone eras now read quaintly, if not comically—yet within their musty pages are often found phrases of uncanny evocative power. Scrupulously stitching such fragments together, in a sequel to the Governor General’s Award-winning Forms of Devotion, By The Book is a collection of verbal and visual collages whose alchemies transform long-dead texts into tales of enduring vitality. With her visually witty full-colour artwork, Schoemperlen’s irreverent and ironic brand of nostalgia combines vintage kitsch with comic, creepy, unexpectedly moving yarns.

“Diane Schoemperlen’s By The Book is a bravura performance. Fragments, collage, assemblage, found poetry—none of the conventional words cover it for they miss the fantastic wit, the energy of humour, the divine ability to find comedic ore in the print detritus of our culture. She doesn’t rescue texts; with her wicked sense of irony, she actually puts thought where there was none. She infects the banal with the virus of her own brain and makes it into art. Then she makes a picture of it—oh, dwell upon the details; there are whole novels lurking in the details.”
– Douglas Glover, author of Savage Love


Artwork from By the Book


Praise for By The Book

Longlisted for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award

“An extremely clever and often graceful collection that rewards the curious reader.” – Kirkus Reviews

“A virtuoso performance.” – The Globe & Mail

“Wholly original.…[A] witty, imaginative, and sometimes whimsical journey through words and pictures.” – This Magazine

“Her wit is just the glaze on her serious intentions….She is an original.”– Quill & Quire

“Intriguing and unique, and incredibly entertaining; creative readers will love this new, innovative art form.” – San Francisco Book Review

“Schoemperlen’s inventive language and narrative structures encourage readers to be free from the prison of everyday thinking.” – New York Times Book Review