BOOK REVIEWS

Regarding Sophie Ward’s first book, published by Paper Castle PressThe Beginning of an Inexplicable Journey.

“As a model, Sophie Ward spends a great deal of time traveling the world – infinite hours every year on the tarmac, in taxis, and on trains. But after a decade of being, as she says, a “blank canvas” for someone else’s vision, Ward now debuts her own: The Beginning of an Inexplicable Journey. Part travelogue, part memoir, the book is an inquiry into all things rich in imagery and tactile in sensation. Wherever the locale, from coastal surf to garden party, cobblestone street to solitary bedroom, Ward never stops searching and ruminating, creating emotional landscapes and poetic observations en route to catharsis.’

“She mentions Joseph Campbell, Walt Whitman, German fairy tales, Lewis Carroll, Ram Dass, and Bob Dylan as influences – a host of seekers. An examination of Ward’s “idyllic perfect childhood,” of death (Heath Ledger was a friend of her sister, the model Gemma Ward), and ultimately an affirmation of life and how to live it, Inexplicable Journey begins in a beautiful place – Perth, Australia, where the writer grew up. But there is a sense of unease. “Even in such a place, you want to move. Even in heaven, you’ll want to escape,” she posits.’

“Ward releases the book this year through Paper Castle Press, her own imprint, though she’s hesitant to limit the fledgling publishing house to just books. The company has produced giclee prints by California artist Danny Roberts, for starters, and there is a glimmer in Ward’s eye at the mention of Paper Castle becoming an actual destination, something of a utopian outpost for fellow seekers. California is mentioned as a possible location. Somehow, that oft-mythologized promised land seems perfectly apropos: it may just be the site of that eureka moment Ward pines for.” – Alexis Georgopoulos, V Magazine, V65 : Wanderlust

“A phenomenological text in the spirit of Gaston Bachelard, Sophie Ward’s elegant and slender volume provides a richness of experience that is at once distinctly human, deeply personal, and utterly universal in its consideration of the cosmos. The fluidity with which Ward moves from encyclopedic references through personal remembrances to quanta inquiries and back again provides a palpable resonance with the aspects of experience and creativity that are simultaneously the most beautiful and the most difficult to articulate.’

“Her balanced melding of personal experience with universal musings provides a glimpse into the life of a rare someone who has matured without losing the ability to experience wonder. Her work leaves the reader believing that ultimately our only ability as human animals is to reminisce together – about our pasts, about our presents, about our futures.” – Haans Nicolas Mott, Designer

“The images are hallucinatory; caste in a sublime thought-trance. Still movements are felt when a man with brick-colored skin stands in his boat just past the shore on a silent day where the cool air swaths along the skin under a bright blue morning sky. I only wish I was filled with such love as [Sophie.] I once was though, that’s why I can understand it. That’s why it reminds me of such beliefs in purity that I seem to have stoned from the rooftops of the old, dingy neighborhood in my mind now. I couldn’t help but think of Anais Nin and Henry Miller while reading it. I can feel the both of them in the writing. The belief in the wonderfully sublime (Nin) and the word-jostling (Miller).” Eamon Loingsigh, author

“There’s no doubt Sophie Ward is as blessed in the looks department as her sister, Gemma, but the Perth-born model has also carved out a niche for herself as a respected writer and blogger. Don’t miss her first book, The Beginning of an Inexplicable Journey, a deeply intellectual and unique vehicle for her personal musings of the past six years. Only 200 of the limited-edition red Bugra covers (the regular editions are white) have been printed, hand-bound, numbered and signed, making them future collectors’ items, too.”   – Rachel Sharp, Harpers Bazaar, October 2011.

The Beginning of an Inexplicable Journey is Sophie Ward’s first book. It deconstructs what exists between two things, with this blend of immutable sophistication and literary audacity that characterizes her. Sophie Ward is one of those people who do not age, gracefully oscillating between childlike playfulness and seriousness.”Valerie Dray, photographer, Vogue Paris

“She writes like the universe is watching itself.” – Gemma Ward

 

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