I am a big fan of the Post Secret books. That will be my confession, to get that out of the way up front. Several years ago, Frank Warren invited people to create postcard containing a secret they’d like to confess but are afraid to tell anyone about and send them to him. What began as a small art project has grown into a full fledged industry including several books and a website.
I love these books because sometimes a card can tell an entire story in a simple statement. Take for example a card showing a photograph of a young man in a Rolling Stones t-shirt holding up a fish he has caught. A strip of white paper is pasted over the young man’s face with these words: “I still wear your shirt.” Is this a confession about a lost love, a departed brother, a friendship that ended badly? Whatever the situation, this simple sentence conveys enough emotion to fill a novel.
Or this one– a collage of three images: an ultra-sound, someone holding up a sign that says “Have Faith” and a faucet knob with the word “fear” on it. The message reads: “I never feared death–until I became a mom.” I don’t think you have to be a mom to understand this sentiment. John Irving wrote The World According to Garp, a novel many hundreds of page long, in part to explore this very idea. But it’s all there in those eight words.
Or this one–a photograph of a bulldog looking up at the camera which is held over his head. The message reads: “I hate my living room couch so I let me dogs pee on it to force my husband into buying a new one.” Sounds like a perfect plot for a slightly twisted situation comedy to me.
Or this one–A photograph of a girl sitting on a dock reading a book. Her feet are in the water. What looks like a shark fin is in the water next to her feet. The message reads: “I wish I had been weirder in high school.” I hope someday this particular author realized that old age is a second chance to be as weird as you want. As George Burns said about the benefits of growing old, there’s no more peer pressure.
Full Disclosure: I received an ARC copy of Post Secret. I’d like to thank the publishers very much and encorage them to send me ARC copies of future Post Secret books.
Mr. Warren was recently on the Today Show talking about his new book. Here’s the video.
I first ran this review on my old blog, Ready When You Are, C.B., back in 2009. Mr. Warren continues to receive secrets from all over the world.