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‘Highway Kind’ Chronicles Twelve Years On the Road

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Watermelon Still Life (Justine Kurland/Aperture)
Watermelon Still Life (Justine Kurland/Aperture)

 

Highway Kind, a new book by Justine Kurland and Lynne Tillman, updates America’s image of the western frontier and the freedom of the road, told through Kurland’s stunning photographs and Tillman’s engaging prose.

Kurland, who has an MFA from Yale, and her son have lived on the road in a customized van for twelve years, documenting America’s broad spectrum of landscapes and fringe communities through photography. In this book, her photos shift between idyllic and harsh, offering a complex, well-rounded view of what it means to live outside the mainstream in modern America.

Keddie Wye, 2007 (Justine Kurland/Aperture)
Keddie Wye, 2007 (Justine Kurland/Aperture)

 

Her son’s interests in trains and cars contribute to her photographic output as well, and are keenly represented in this book.

The photographs in Highway Kind are accompanied by stories from Lynne Tillman, a novelist and critic who wrote Someday This Will Be Funny
and American Genius: A Comedy. She and Kurland are well matched; the Guardian describes Tillman as “a writer interested in how disparate ideas, like disparate individuals, clash and connect,” and adds that her work is “never pretentious.” In other words, she’s perfect for the plainspoken and powerful images in this book.

Order a copy of Highway Kind for yourself directly from the publisher, Aperture.

Ford Mustang Fastback, Upper 9th Ward, 2012 (Justine Kurland/Aperture)
Ford Mustang Fastback, Upper 9th Ward, 2012 (Justine Kurland/Aperture)
Highway Kind front cover (Aperture Books)
Highway Kind front cover (Aperture Books)

RealClearLife Staff