September 27, 2022

Lost Objects: 50 Stories About the Things We Miss and Why They Matter (Hat & Beard Press, ed. Josh Glenn and Rob Walker), a book that evolved from narratives and illustrations first published here at HILOBROW, was published today. Hooray!

Upcoming Lost Objects events include: October 14th at ChaShaMa (360 Furman St., Unit C, in Brooklyn Heights), a NY Art Book Fair-associated event for Hat & Beard’s NYC-area authors; it will double as a Steve Keene art exhibition [read Amanda Petrusich in the New Yorker on the Steve Keene event here] | Chicago Art Book Fair in November (details TBA) | Los Angeles Art Book Fair in November (details TBA) | San Francisco Art Book Fair in December (details TBA) | Seattle Art Book Fair in January (details TBA).

Follow Lost Objects on Instagram for updates.


One of several limited-edition LOST OBJECTS art prints

You can pre-order Lost Objects, along with limited-edition art prints, directly from Hat & Beard. Until late December, the H&B checkout code LOSTOBJECTS will take 20% off the price of either the Lost Objects book or a book/print combo. Sale of the prints will help defray H&B’s printing expenses.


In June, Rob Walker was interviewed by Debbie Millman as part of her WHAT MATTERS series — an effort to understand the interior life of artists, designers, and creative thinkers — at the website PRINT. And in July, Josh was interviewed for WHAT MATTERS too.


Slate’s podcast WORKING features interviews with creative people about the nitty-gritty aspects of their work processes. The August 14 episode features Rob and Josh, who — in conversation with co-host June Thomas — discuss Lost Objects, as well as their long-term creative partnership.

Here’s an excerpt:

WORKING: There are fifty — fifty essays [in Lost Objects]…. These are very short pieces. I actually didn’t count how many words your limit is, but this is a very specific kind of writing form that you guys typically work with — in all of your object projects. How do you find people? Because, you know, that’s a very specific format. How do you find that Rolodex or how did you hone that Rolodex? “These are people who I think probably could write four or five hundred words in a in a format that people would want to read.”

ROB WALKER: There is no answer to that — it’s trial and error. Josh and I have things where we’re different and things where we have a lot in common, and one of the things we have in common is that we’re both voracious readers-slash-fans. We’re interested in other writers, and we’re interested in seeing what will happen. So you don’t know — and that’s part of what makes it interesting. Like, “I don’t know if June Thomas will be able to come through with 450 excellent words.” (But I mean, I kind of know.) And we’ve certainly had people turn us down — that’s part of the trial and error. And then on much more rare occasions, we’ve had things that didn’t work out — where we learned that someone is actually not capable of doing four hundred and fifty words. [Laughter]

WORKING: What kind of editing do you do and how have you developed the specific editing skills for this specific, weird format?

JOSH GLENN: If you have a platonic ideal of the word count in your head, you also have a little bit of a sense of — you know, what it should look like, how it should feel. For example, if you only have five hundred words to play with, you cannot do a lot of “throat clearing,” as they say. You can’t let the writer [of a hypothetical story about a lost bowling ball] start out by saying, “The history of the bowling ball is quite fascinating. It began in 1834…” You know what I mean? And then only finally after a hundred and fifty words get to their own bowling ball and what it meant to them. Right at the top, you can just say, “OK, I can see right away from your first draft that you did too much of that [throat-clearing]. Can you please try again?” But we don’t do a lot of very close, you know, line editing with these writers — because we trust them. These are all writers that we like — which is why we are fans of theirs. An editor shouldn’t have to do a lot of work, if you hire a good writer. You should trust them.

Listen to the episode here.


In June, Lit Hub published an excerpt — Alex Balk’s “Shooting Gallery,” illustration by John Lowe — to coincide with our NYC pre-sale event that day at McNally Jackson. And in late July, Lit Hub published a second excerpt: Nina Katchadourian’s “Fountain Pens,” illustration by Lisa Congdon.

In early July, The Millions excerpted Lydia Millet’s “Rocky Horror Novel,” illustration by Berta Vallo.

In mid-July, PRINT excerpted Debbie Millman’s Lost Objects introduction.

The September (print) issue of Harper’s excerpts Lucy Sante’s “Club Chair,” illustration by Kate Bingaman-Burt. And the Harper’s website published the excerpt in August.


In early September, the Boston Globe‘s IDEAS section excerpted the following three Lost Objects stories and illustrations: Alex Gerasev’s “Karma Parka” (ill. Alex Gerasev), Leah Hennessey’s “Batman Ring” (ill. Dean Haspiel), and Stephen O’Connor’s “Hunting Hat” (ill. Oliver Munday).


Dan Fox, Mimi Lipson, Debbie Millman, Stephen O’Connor, Josh, and Lucy Sante at McNally Jackson. PHOTO: Yvonne Brooks.

In June, Josh and several Lost Objects contributors — Dan Fox, Mimi Lipson, Debbie Millman, Stephen O’Connor, and Lucy Sante — did a reading (and chautauqua, of sorts) at McNally Jackson Seaport in NYC.

Brookline Booksmith event. Readers, from left: Dante Ramos, Alex Gerasev, Seth Mnookin

In September, Brookline Booksmith (Brookline, Mass.) hosted Josh, Alex Gerasev, Seth Mnookin, Dante Ramos, and some of the book’s illustrators for an evening of readings and show-and-tell.

See top of this post for info on upcoming Lost Objects events.


Sample LOST OBJECTS spread featuring story and art by Ben Katchor.
Click for closer view.

Josh and Rob are the book’s editors, and the authors of its foreword and afterword. Debbie Millman is author of the book’s introduction.

The book’s authors, in no particular order: Kate Bernheimer | Dan Piepenbring | Doug Dorst | Paul Lukas | Mimi Lipson | Lucy Sante | Nina Katchadourian | Matthew Sharpe | Claire Lehmann | Jessamyn West | Mandy Keifetz | M.R. Sauter | Amy Thielen | Stephen O’Connor | Alice Boone | Dante Ramos | Alex Balk | Chelsey Johnson | Susannah Breslin | Seth Mnookin | Dan Fox | Lisa Takeuchi Cullen | Michael Tisserand | Jeff Turrentine | Randy Kennedy | Geoff Manaugh | Joe Yonan | Laura Lippman | Ben Katchor | Neil LaBute | Miranda Mellis | Chris Piascik | Anita Kunz | Debbie Millman | Heather Kapplow | Lydia Millet | Ben Greenman | Leah Hennessey | Kathryn Davis | Mikita Brottman | Nathaniel Rich | Charles Glaubitz | Seth | Becky Stern | Mark Dery | Paola Antonelli | Sara Ryan | Alex Gerasev | Margaret Wertheim | Gary Panter

The book’s artists, in the same non-particular order: Amy C. Evans | Josh Neufeld | John Holbo | Allison Bamcat | Mister Reusch | Kate Bingaman-Burt | Lisa Congdon | Glenn Jones | Karen Kurycki | Amanda Clarke | Emory Allen | Shayna Piascik | Heather Kasunick | Oliver Munday | Rick Pinchera | Joe Alterio | John Lowe | Rubi McGrory | Jennifer Heuer | Alex Eben Meyer | Linzie Hunter | Rose Wong | Jackie Roche | Andrew DeGraff | Max Temescu | Mariana Pita | Theo Ellsworth | Laura Didyk | Ben Katchor | Disa Wallander | Adam Goldberg | Chris Piascik | Anita Kunz | Debbie Millman | Matt Wuerker | Berta Vallo | Clara Selina Bach | Dean Haspiel | Dina Noto | Sarah Williamson | Ellen Rose | Charles Glaubitz | Seth | Monica Garwood | Kelli Anderson | Sophie Calhoun | Steve Lieber | Alex Gerasev | Armando Veve | Gary Panter


Photo of Rob & Josh, years ago, at a Significant Objects event. Credit: SVA NYC.

Joshua Glenn is a consulting semiotician and coauthor of The Adventurer’s Glossary, Unbored: The Essential Field Guide to Serious Fun, and (with Rob Walker) Significant Objects, among other books. He is editor of HILOBROW.com and the MIT Press’s Radium Age series. Follow him via Instagram: @hilobrow.

Rob Walker is the author of The Art of Noticing and its spinoff newsletter, at robwalker.substack.com. His prior books are Significant Objects (with Joshua Glenn), Buying In, and Letters from New Orleans. He is a longtime contributor to The New York Times and teaches at the School of Visual Arts. More at robwalker.net.


Josh in St. Paul, MN — August 2022


ALSO SEE: PROJECT:OBJECT homepage | POLITICAL OBJECTS (1Q2017) | TALISMANIC OBJECTS (2Q2017) | ILLICIT OBJECTS (3Q2017) | LOST OBJECTS vol. 1 (4Q2017) | FLAIR (2Q2018) | FOSSILS (4Q2018) | FETISHES (2Q2019) | LOST OBJECTS vol. 2 (4Q2019) | MOVIE OBJECTS (2Q2020) | SEMIO OBJECTS (2Q2021) | SIGNIFICANT OBJECTS (cross-posted from Significant Objects website). ALSO SEE: SIGNIFICANT OBJECTS website | LOST OBJECTS (Hat & Beard Press, 2022) | SIGNIFICANT OBJECTS collection, ed. Rob Walker and Josh Glenn (Fantagraphics, 2012) | TAKING THINGS SERIOUSLY, ed. Josh Glenn (Princeton Architectural Press, 2007) | TAKING THINGS SERIOUSLY excerpts.


Kudos, Literature