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Bound & Flogged

This week's round-up of the very, very best in print culture

DEBUT NOVEL OF THE WEEK: A Working Theory of Love by Scott Hutchins

Never judge a book by it's cover... especially if that cover implies the book could be optioned for a film starring Michael Cera and soundtracked by Sufjan Stevens. Despite any initial doubts, 'A Working Theory of Love' is an insightful look at at relationships, both between a father and son, and between lovers. Critics have been getting excited about this first novel from young Californian writer Scott Hutchins, he also sidelines as a creative writing lecturer at Stanford and contributes to publications like Five Dials and The Rumpus. In 'A Working Theory of Love', the protagonist, Neill Bassett, has just come out of a failed marriage and has met someone new - he's also building a robot based on his dead father and is trying to discover why he father committed suicide. Despite some heavy themes, the book is hilarious and it manages to take an original look at the most timeless human preoccupations. 

PHOTOGRAPHY BOOK OF THE WEEK: In and Out of Fashion by Viviane Sassen

'In and Out of Fashion' chronicles 17 years of fashion photography from Dazed regular Viviane Sassen - her trademark eye for rich colours and sculptural human forms is prominent in her editorial work as well as her award-winning fine art photography. "I always try to embrace the magic and the fantasy in fashion shoots, as well as the reality and the more banal side of life - both the paradoxes and the ambiguity," Sassen explained in a recent interview with Dazed for the February issue. Whatever she touches takes on an eerie, dreamlike quality that is unmistakably her own; 'In and Out of Fashion' is the perfect opportunity to become acquainted with Sassen's work.

JOURNAL OF THE WEEK: The Blackmail, Offline Issue 1

Tired of the same old London/New York scene? 'The Blackmail' is evidence that global isolation has its benefits, this brand new and unapologetically Australia-centric journal dedicates itself to celebrating the best in creativity down under. The beautifully designed black and white publication features fiction, photography as well as interviews with artists, musicians and fashion designers. It also introduces non-Aussies to talents like Amanda Maxwell, Callum Morton and Brendan Huntley, among many others. In the words of publisher Tristan Ceddia, it's a cultural time capsule and a good reason to step away from your screen.

FASHION BOOK OF THE WEEK: Fashion Scandinavia by Dorothea Gundtoft

"Minimalism is not a lack of something. It's simply the perfect amount of something." That attitude to design is encapsulated by Scandinavian fashion designers like Acne Studios, Stine Goya, Henrik Vibskov and Wood Wood, who all manage to strike the balance between nordic restraint and dark playfulness in their collections. In the new book 'Fashion Scandinavia', published by Thames & Hudson, author and Dazed contributor, Dorothea Gundtoft, compiles a sweeping overview of the most exciting designers - 57 in all. The book offers highlights from the designers' collections and interviews to make a definitive case for why Scandinavian fashion has become a global phenomenon.

POLITICAL GRAPHIC NOVEL OF THE WEEK: The Beginning of The American Fall by Stephanie McMillan

In the new graphic novel, 'The Beginning of The American Fall', political cartoonist and author Stephanie McMillan proves that the spirit of the Occupy movement hasn't died, it's just gone underground. Using her own experience as an activist who has been involved with Occupy since the early days, McMillan shows the evolution of a movement that has reverberated through popular culture. While she isn't afraid to show the internal struggles and points of contention among activists , she also paints a pretty convincing picture for why Occupy will continue in a different form, and why that long-awaited revolution isn't so far off.