I read Matteo Pericoli’s “Windows on the World: Fifty Writers, Fifty Views” in roughly one hour while I was sitting in a sauna, but the impact of the book will last far longer. Let’s talk process. In the photography world, especially the consumer/prosumer version of the photography world where most things are centered on topics like gear reviews I find myself entirely uninterested. What interests me is the process by which a photographer works. The same applies to writers.
Several years ago I attended the Sydney Writer’s Festival. I happened to walk into one of the numerous talks and found myself sitting next to the head coordinator of the entire event. I mentioned who I was and that I was in Australia for work and she said “Oh, you should go to see so-and-so and so-and-so.” So I did. And what was most interesting to me was HOW these writers operated.
Across the board, writing was a job and was treated as such. Rigid schedules, rigid practice, rigid concentration, and most adhered to rigid regimes when it came to WHERE they would write. Pericoli’s book covers fifty writers and the view that each writer has while they work. Beautiful black and white illustrations, based on images, round out each featured artist. In addition, each author details what that view means to them and how it influences what they write.
The book itself is beautifully designed, not something you can always say about “wordy” books. The bleed-through of a vellum cover shows an illustration on both the front and back. A world map with highlighted cities where the authors are from. A simple, quick, easy read but filled with morsels that make one stop and think.