Angels presents a new genre, an illustrated short story for adults. Set in inner city Detroit, this is a tale of a family beset by the traumas of drug addiction, adultery, prison, violence as well as the joys of sexuality, love and, especially, children. The mother, desperate when her husband is sent to prison, becomes a stripper to support her two daughters, her angels.
Angels won a prize in the Belletrist Review, a small literary journal, more than a decade ago. The idea of creating a picture book originally came from a fan who suggested I turn one of my paintings and its accompanying blog into a children’s book. I thought that was a perfect way to combine my art and writing, and my virgin voyage became Other Lives. Angels, the second such voyage, is a tale for adults, inspired in part from working as a therapist in a woman’s prison.
The illustrations are collages composed of butcher block and craft papers, gold leaf, pastels, as well as paste papers that I created. I have made books as well as written them for some time.
While I write, I “see” images and now I have shared some of the pictures that were in my mind as the words flowed. Of course, I plan to do this again. And again. Angels is part of a series of storybooks that contain the thrill of illustrations as we loved in books when we were kids, but with narratives slated for adults. And this one, the story of a stripper, her children, and the men in her life is definitely for grown-ups though the images of eroticism and violence are tasteful.
I would love feed back from you on the experience of reading an adult book with adult illustrations.
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“An Illustrated short story that is definitely for adults only as it does contain some explicit material. The author uses her beautiful works of art to illustrate an equally beautifully woven story. A harsh story of the choices we all make in life, the places we end up and then on going choices that we have to make from then on.
It is a love story, a story of pain and hurt, a story of moments of beauty in every life the reality of a Mum doing what she must to get by and look after her children.” Judy
“A short and powerful read about love and choices. Oh so beautifully written with sparse poetic language. Life is not black and white, love takes many forms. I loved this…” Cheyenne Blue
“This story is heartbreaking and touching at the same time. This is such a gut wrenching tale, but it highlights the hope and struggles of those in seemingly impossible situations. Unique and vivid illustrations brings this award winning story to life. I highly recommend this.” Roy Huff
“I was captivated and amazed by this very short story that so beautifully develops the three main characters, characters who don’t frequently make there way into mainstream literature. Each character is powerfully drawn and sympathetic, without being overly romanticized. It is a story that illustrates how human we all are, how life is never predictable and how much love and forgiveness can exist in the human heart.” L. Sherby
“Vibrant collage illustrations light up Ann Pearlman’s dark tale of a single mom entangled in her struggle as a stripper with 2 little girls to raise. Just when a new lovelife takes wing, she is engulfed in a violent twist of fate which saddened this reader but ends the story on a promising note. The artwork is so creative and joyful that it overshadows the gloom and gore!” Rachel
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