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Winner of the 2008 Boston Art Awards People’s Choice Award for Books
Jo Dery makes her impressive book debut with this collection of new stories, Quietly Sure – Like the Keeper of a Great Secret. Set in a personal world of seekers and guides with parallel and intertwining tales, she has created an engaging work of strange beauty. Her four main characters search for an understanding of themselves and their purpose through their peculiar encounters with each other and the forces of nature (including a hungry spider, spectacled bears, a stinging snake, a lost lizard, and a reflective moon).
With a modern folk style of drawing and boundless imagination, Jo is able to bring forth a stunningly detailed mythic world. Her background as a screenprinter lends images a depth of field that brings visual richness to each page. Things start off with the dispersal of some vicious seeds and wind their way through six stories of new discoveries, things gained and lost, new partnerships, and lessons learned. But like the keeper of a great secret, we wouldn’t want to give away much more—the splendor is in the journey.
-88 pages, 6.75” wide x 5” tall, softcover
-full-color cover, blue ink on white interior pages
-printed by a family-owned press in Oakland, CA on 100% post-consumer recycled paper with soy-based inks
“…Jo Dery’s Quietly Sure — Like the Keeper of a Great Secret is filled with brief, mystical, poetic, earthy fairy tales.”-Greg Cook
“…she has a handle on a hushed world where her characters brim with thoughts of beauty, comfort, discovery, and pain. …‘Quietly Sure’ makes an expedition in to this world, portraying nature in a way that feels ceremonial, as though in its repeated patterns and shapes it is reenacting something age-old. Characters scurry toward understanding, with the knowledge that they’ll never quite attain enough of it. There’s humor too, in the way the characters are drawn and in their gestures.” -Vikki Warner, Providence Monthly, May 2009
“This is another beautiful book from Little Otsu: well-crafted, well-designed and lovely to look at. Dery’s art has a slightly immersive quality (not unlike Theo Ellsworth’s approach) but also makes the reader look at the page perhaps more than read it.”
“If I could clap for a book, I would without a doubt for Jo Dery’s newest release, Quietly Sure – Like the Keeper of a Great Secret.” -Yujean Park, Feminist Review
Jo Dery is an artist, screen printer, and animator living in Chicago. Her artwork has appeared in Lumpen Magazine and the SPX Anthology and has been exhibited in New York, San Francisco, Portland, and Los Angeles. She completed a residency at the renowned MacDowell Colony in New Hampshire.