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‘Two’ combines images with written word

Though photography and writing are both primarily solitary crafts, the mediums are often used to illuminate the relationships between two people or things. The idea of a singular force capturing representations of duality is what drew novelist and memoirist Ann Patchett to Melissa Ann Pinney’s photographs; in her introduction to this book, Patchett writes, “somehow, it’s my ability to be alone that attracts me to these images of pairs, in the same way that Melissa, alone behind her camera, sees the twosomes in the world around her.” Pinney’s sensitive eye for the connections between duos — human or inanimate, displayed or implied — is palpable in “Two,” where her visceral yet thought-provoking photographs are studies of both difference and similarity. The beautiful images are fittingly paired with 10 essays exploring the nature of two, with contributions by contemporary voices such as Edwidge Danticat, Elizabeth McCracken, and Richard Russo. Together, the groupings of “Two” insinuate what is perhaps the most powerful pairing of all: that between the image and the written word.

“Two,” Harper Design, $29.99 ERYN CARLSON

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