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Pattie McCarthy


This sold-out chapbook is available as a free ebook. Read or download the PDF here.

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Limited-edition handmade chapbook
5.5 x 4.25 inches
28 pages
Full-color inkjet cover on 80lb cream stock
24lb natural white text interior
Hand-sewn binding in natural twine


when presented with the word puzzles
LO_AL & THR_ _T men were more
likely to complete the puzzles with neutral
words like LOCAL & THROAT but women
were more likely to choose LOYAL & THREAT.
this breakthrough on the cryptographic
systems was accomplished entirely through
sweat-of-the-brow analysis without
the aid of any captured codebooks.

In twenty-one brief but concentrated pieces, scenes from the lives of my parents presents a fragmented narrative, a love story, a spy story, a compelling mystery for the codebreaking reader to crack. The cover design is a detail from the Voynich Manuscript, a “scientific or magical text in an unidentified language, in cipher,” carbon-dated to the 15th century, with color botanical and astrological illustrations throughout.

scenes from the lives of my parents was the sixth chapbook in the 2012–2013 series from Bloof Books. Each chapbook in the series was released in a limited edition of 100 numbered copies, followed by a digital release. scenes from the lives of my parents is also included in our first chapbook-compilation volume, BOUND: The First Array.

Additional information


McCarthy, Pattie