Text and photographs often make uncomfortable companions. Like oil and water they slide over and around each other, the two competing to establish some sort of hierarchy, with one invariably rising to the top. Any work which extensively uses these two forms often becomes defined by whichever of the two finally triumphs, perhaps as literature, perhaps as a photo book. Paul Kwiatkowski’s debut book bills itself as an illustrated novel, but comes close to establishing a rare equality in its even-handed use of pictures and words. 

And Every Day Was Overcast charts a young man’s coming of age in 1990s Florida, a state Kwiatkowski evocatively characterises as, “America’s phantom limb, a place where spaceships were catapulted out into the cosmos. Alligators emerged from brackish water. Vultures and hawks circled above.” The narrator, who seems to be at least partly based on Kwiatkowski, fills a void of adolescent

This article appeared in 187 on March 2014. Buy here

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