Beautiful Things That Happen to Ugly People is a wonderfully fantastic, genre-bending “book” by Sarah E. Melville.
The official blurb:
Beautiful Things that Happen to Ugly People attempts to piece together the mysterious life of Paulie, the author’s alter ego, a man seeming to live in all times and no time at all, a faceless composite of our most human of souls. The fragments of his life glimmer in like memories through poetry and prose, photos and paintings, images that recall first kisses and wayward dreams, with treasured letters from friends and lovers, collected over the years. It is literature wrapped around art and art wrapped around literature, a modern illuminated manuscript, the pages like dots for the reader to connect with their own lines.
Featuring 146 full colour pages, 36 pieces of poetry and prose, and 13 letters written to Paulie by members of the Year Zerø Writers group and its community.
It’s hard to review Beautiful Things, since it is less of a book and more a work of art, but you need to know first that it is (per its namesake) quite beautiful, and truthfully…it’s an experience. It’s captivating to see how Miss Melville and her cohort tackle the mystery that is Paulie, ultimately creating a beautifully juxtaposed landscape of words and images, giving a true sense of self to someone who doesn’t actually exist. And for this reason alone, for this novel approach in regards to creating and crafting character and story—doing so by utilizing much more than just the written word—Beautiful Things succeeds violently well.
You can purchase a copy for $19 via Miss Melville’s PayPal, detail of which can be found here, and I urge anyone looking for something new in the world of books to check this out. It will stay with you for days after you finish it.