Dear Life

Open Book Art Collective is pleased to announce our next book selection. This winter we will be reading and exploring Alice Munroe’s latest collection of short stories, ‘Dear Life’. In case you didn’t know, this 82 year old Canadian powerhouse,  recently received the Nobel Prize for Literature.

“It has become practically de rigeur to refer to Munro as ‘our Chekhov’… But at this point in Munro’s career, how much can it add? What is certain is this: She is our Munro. And how fortunate we are to call her that.” — New York Times Book Review

We encourage you to read along with us and to stay tuned for upcoming shows this spring and summer!

Happy reading!

pick up a copy here

The Death of A Beekeeper Exhibit

Curatorial Statement:
In the winter or 2013, some friends came together to read a book and make art. The book they chose was Lars Gustafsson’s 1978 novel, The Death of a Beekeeper.  The Result is a show curated with thought provoking artworks that seek to dialogue with Gustafsson’s writing.  Through a variety of mediums, such as collage, painting, drawing, sewing and installation, six artists explore and wrestle with themes of self-realization, loss and doubt.
“When the letter from the district hospital in Vasteras finally came, I didn’t want to open it, so I laid it aside…” (The Yellow Book 1:8)

The Death of a Beekeeper


The first book to reside on our shelf, this past spring and summer was, Lars Gustafsson’s, ‘The Death of a Beekeeper’.

“Kind readers. Strange readers. We begin again. We never give up. It is early spring 1975, the story begins in the middle of the thaw…” pg 1
In the beginning of the winter thaw, Lars Lennart Westin has learned that he has cancer and will not live through spring. Told through the journals of this schoolteacher turned apiarist, The Death of a Beekeeper, is his gentle, courageous, and sometimes comic meditation on living with pain. Westin has refused to surrender the time left him to the impersonation of a hospital, preferring to take his fate upon himself, to continue solitary, reflective life in the Swedish countryside. “I took little walks and noticed that in the last months the pain had actually colored the landscape in a peculiar way. Here and there is a tree where it really hurt, here and there is a fence against whose post I struck my hand in passing.” His inner landscape is also re-forming: “This constant concern with an indefinite dangerous secret in one’s own body, this feeling that some dramatic change is taking place, without one’s being able to have any clarity about what really is… reminds me of prepuberty. I even recognize this gentle feeling of shame again.” The relentlessly intimate burning in his gut provides a point of psychic detachment, rendering his survival “a unique art form whose level of difficulty is so high that no one exists who can practice it.” Yet he insists, “We begin again. We never give up.” – back cover synopsis

Written by the renown, Swedish novelist, poet and scholar, Lars Gustafsson, ‘The Death of a Beekeeper’ is the fifth, and most popular, book in a series written by him in the 1970’s.  All five  books can be enjoyed alone, but are in-fact, variations on a common theme: “We begin again. We never give up.” Gustafsson himself has described ‘The Death of a Beekeeper’ as,

“A book about pain. It describes a journey into the center where pain rules—and pain can tolerate no rivals.”

Adding another layer, to this intriguing work of literature, is that this year, ‘The Death of a Beekeeper’ went out of print in Canada. However, you can still it find it here