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Wednesday, December 21, 2011


About the book:
First-time author Shelley Malcolm announces the Second Edition of her non-fiction book, Real, now available in hardcover. Malcolm delivers a remarkable work of inspiration with 60 biographical stories, each illustrated by a captivating photo by professional photographer Terilee Dawn Ouimette. The stories are deeply revealing, while the photos are anonymous, focusing only on each subject’s hands. Research for the coffee table-style book was accomplished through a series of interviews and photo shoots, with subjects ranging from adolescent to elderly, from former gangster to humble homeless, international refugee to hero-housewife, from pro athlete to Hollywood celebrity.

Focusing on her subjects’ hands instead of their faces allows Malcolm’s subjects to share more freely about their lives, tragedies, hopes, dreams, loves, and toils. Ouimette displays an uncanny ability to capture each character’s essence on film by depicting one of more sets of hands at work, at play, giving or receiving help. The result shows the genius of the project, the use of anonymity displaying a greater level of intimacy and vulnerability than might have been possible by any other means.

Malcolm states that her inspiration for the book came from a dream with similar images, revealing the beauty in imperfections in a person’s hands. “The hand image is made beautiful by the life behind it,” she explains. “More anonymous than a face or even eyes which show identity and emotion, our hands portray our work, our affection, scars…even our mistakes.”

According to photographer Ouimette, “People can feel even more connected to photographs of hands than faces. There is a little bit of mystery to each one – allowing the reader to visually connect with the inspiring story.”

Confronting the importance of status and beauty in our society, Real honestly unveils the life stories of remarkable individuals through moving images and stories that range from tragic to hopeful to triumphant.

Originally published in March 2011, the book has been popular among widely diverse groups including youth and teens, women, parents and grandparents, men between the ages of 35 – 65, craftsmen, surgeons, hand, massage and physical therapists and many others.

People say that faces are the most telling, but I think a person's hands are even more so.  In a person's hands, we see experiences and skills, strength and warmth.  We feel comforted when hands are placed on our heads or shoulders.  We feel loved when that special someone takes us by the hand or when a small child grasps it and looks up trustingly.   Shelley Malcolm and Terilee Ouimette have created a lovely tribute to people in their book, Real.  They showcase ordinary, every day people who have amazing stories to share and they do it with first names, honest text and photographs of each person's hands.

This is, quite simply, a gorgeous, thoughtful book.  The photographs alone are beautiful, but when coupled with moving, often poignant text, the book becomes heartfelt and extraordinary.  This is a book that would make a wonderful gift.

One of the best things about this book, as well, is that 100% of the proceeds from book sales go to support the work of several charities. It is a gift that gives a gift.  You can learn more about that here.

Thanks to Christen at Litfuse Publicity for the opportunity to review this book.  You can learn more about Shelley Malcolm here.  You can purchase your own copy here.  You can see other reviews and tour stops here.

Read 12/12

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5/5 Stars


  1. I bet this book is gorgeous! Hands do tell so much. I remember holding my dad's hands during the last week of his life and marveling at what all they had done in his 91 years.

  2. Just stopping by to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and all the best in the New Year Holly!