When artist Sophie Calle came upon a lost address book in Paris, she returned it anonymously to its owner–one Pierre D.–but only after copying all of the pages and hatching a plan: “I will contact the people whose names are noted down. I will tell them, ‘I found an address book on the street by chance. Your number was in it. I’d like to meet you,’” Calle decided. “Thus, I will get to know this man through his friends and acquaintances. I will try to discover who he is without ever meeting him.” Her written accounts of these encounters with the mystery man’s friends, family, and colleagues–juxtaposed with Calle’s photographs–originally appeared as serial in the newspaper Libération over the course of a month in 1983. Revelations, controversy, and threatened lawsuits ensued. Nearly three decades later, Los Angeles-based Siglio Press has collaborated with Calle on the first trade publication in English of The Address Book. Look no further for a stocking stuffer suitable for elusive types, art lovers, and book buffs alike.

This is part of a series of elegantly wrapped December posts about desirable goods that we suggest you purchase with the laudable yet vague intent of giving to others and then keep for yourself. Got a “nifty, gifty” idea? Tell the UnBeige elves: unbeige (at) mediabistro.com
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