This haunting book is a rare and wonderful thing: an artistic approach to history. Lesy creates a collage of news stories, quotes from contemporary novels, local asylum records, medical diagrams, and harrowingly bleak-but-beautiful photographs to give us a portrait of Black River Falls, Wisconsin in the late 19th century. It's the kind of book that you can dip into or get lost in for hours, gently circling around the historical truth at the heart of it but never quite getting there until you read the explanatory Preface and Conclusion. Mysterious and undeniably creepy, it is a great piece of art that showcases the darker side of the Midwest.— From Clelia's Picks
First published in 1973, this remarkable book about life in a small turn-of-the-century Wisconsin town has become a cult classic. Lesy has collected and arranged photographs taken between 1890 and 1910 by a Black River Falls photographer, Charles Van Schaik.