A book by Isaac Fitzgerald and Wendy MacNaughton
Wendy MacNaughton is a visual storyteller – “she of extraordinary sensitivity to the human experience” and editor Isaac Fitzgerald “catalog the wild, wicked, wonderfully human stories behind people’s tattoos.” combine to create Pen & Ink: Tattoos and the Stories Behind Them (named after their popular Tumblr).
The book includes sixty-three stories from tattoo wearers. The introduction states:
“As long as I live I’ll never tire of people-watching. On city buses and park benches. In small-town cafes and crowded elevators. At concerts and swimming pools. To people-watch is to glimpse the mysterious and the banal, the public face and the private gesture, the strangest other and the most familiar self. It’s to wonder how and why and what and who and hardly ever find out.
This book is the answer to those questions. It’s an intimate collection of portraits and stories behind the images we carry on our flesh in the form of tattoos…
Each of the stories is like being let in on sixty-three secrets by sixty-three strangers who passed you on the street or sat across from you on the train. They’re raw and real and funny and sweet. They speak of lives you’ll never live and experiences you know precisely. Together, they do the work of great literature – gathering a force so true they ultimately tell a story that includes all.”
Read more about it and view some of the tattoos on the Brain Pickings site at http://www.brainpickings.org/2014/10/07/pen-and-ink-tattoos-wendy-macnaughton/.