“Cherry Hill: A Childhood Reimagined” is a multimedia memoir of photographic artist Jona Frank’s upbringing in – and flight from – a stifling suburban household. Told in words and 200 evocatively-staged photographs, Frank’s account of her childhood struggles with a repressive mother and overwhelming expectations is leavened with episodes from her rich interior world.
Akin to a graphic novel, this hybrid of personal essay and photography breaks open the memoir format, detailing the life of a young artist as she spends her days dreaming of a friendship with Emily Dickinson, longing for Bruce Springsteen, and eschewing the rules of femininity. In the author’s own words, “Cherry Hill is, in a sense, an exercise in time travel. It’s a creation of the moments we are meant to leave behind. It’s a girl’s story about defining her place in her family, while also wanting to find her purpose outside of it.”
Frank employs a cinematic approach to construct vivid scenes from her youth. Using elaborately dressed sets, era-specific wardrobes, and multiple actors to portray herself as a child, Frank refashions her memories into vibrant tableaux. Strikingly, Frank cast Academy Award-winning actor Laura Dern in the role of her strict and complicated mother in a performance as bravura as her film and television work.
As Frank outgrows the confines of her environment and suffocating domestic life, discovering art and photography as the path to her personal fulfillment, she plots her ultimate escape. A unique photographic storytelling project, “Cherry Hill” is an intimate self-portrait of what it takes to break free of convention and to answer the question, “Who am I meant to be?”
ABOUT THE BOOK
Jona Frank : Cherry Hill: A Childhood Reimagined
Published by Monacelli
TRIM: 6 ½ x 8 ¼ inches ILL: 200 color
PRICE: $45 US/$60 CAN
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jona Frank is a photographic artist. She grew up in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, the daughter of an accountant and homemaker. Cherry Hill is her fourth book. Her previous books include High School (2004), Right: Portraits from the Evangelical Ivy League (2008), and The Modern Kids (2016). Her films and photographs have been exhibited internationally and are held in the collections of the J. Paul Getty Museum, SFMOMA, and the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, among others. She lives in Santa Monica, California, where she is beloved for her cherry pie.
An exhibition of Cherry Hill will open at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art in Brunswick, Maine in January 2022.
As a leading publisher of illustrated books for twenty-five years, Monacelli has challenged the conventions of publishing to produce provocative, inspiring, and essential titles on architecture, visual art, interior design, landscape architecture, photography, and applied arts. In 2020, Monacelli became an imprint of Phaidon.