It took a while to gain the confidence to approach these books without words, a gift from Alex, and when I finally took the plunge I was mesmerized — both with the content and also with the process. The six novels can be read and studied and reflected upon by oneself, but they are a fine pick for discussion, many discussions. There is no one interpretation to the string of illustrations. Love, greed, despair, hope, tyranny, fellowship, passion, hypocrisy, regret — it’s all exploding in the woodcuts.
Lynd Ward also illustrated children’s books. The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge was in the library salvaged from my parents’ home when they sold it. I have no memory of reading it, yet it seems profoundly familiar. How did this book find its way to my parents’ bookshelf. Who bought it and why? Did I like the book? Did my parents visit the little red lighthouse by the side of the George Washington Bridge? Did they take me? Did they buy it because they were familiar with Ward?
My father’s brother told me that my dad was somewhat of a socialist, not one with a card in his pocket, but one with a heart. What stories we could have told each other if only . . .