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The ugly history of beautiful things : essays on desire and consumption  Cover Image Book Book

The ugly history of beautiful things : essays on desire and consumption / Katy Kelleher.

Kelleher, Katy, (author.). Kelleher, Katy. Mercurial charms of the mirror. (Added Author). Kelleher, Katy. Mouth full of petals, veins full of wax. (Added Author). Kelleher, Katy. Bright eyes, cursed cuts. (Added Author). Kelleher, Katy. Spiraling. (Added Author). Kelleher, Katy. Live fast, die pretty. (Added Author). Kelleher, Katy. Dirty, sweet, floral, foul. (Added Author). Kelleher, Katy. Women and worms. (Added Author). Kelleher, Katy. Deceptions and damnation. (Added Author). Kelleher, Katy. Bone white, paper thin. (Added Author). Kelleher, Katy. Exhalations of the earth. (Added Author).

Record details

  • ISBN: 9781982179359
  • ISBN: 198217935X
  • Physical Description: x, 262 pages ; 24 cm
  • Edition: First Simon & Schuster hardcover edition.
  • Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster, 2023.

Content descriptions

Bibliography, etc. Note:
Includes bibliographical references (pages 233-247) and index.
Formatted Contents Note:
The mercurial charms of the mirror: on seeing and being seen -- Mouth full of petals, veins full of wax: on stealing, eating, praying, and playing with flowers -- Bright blue, cursed cuts: on gemstones, worry stones, and her majesty the diamond -- Spiraling: on the ancient appeal of shells, pearls, and mollusk-made wonders -- Live fast, die pretty: on wearing war paint, faces full of lead, and the makeup of makeup -- Dirty, sweet, floral, foul: the rank of backstory of perfumery -- Women and worms: The prismatic sheen of silk and its fairy-tale logic -- Deceptions and damnation: the molten glow of screens, the beauty of stained glass, and the treachery of spectacles -- Bone white, paper thin: on porcelain dishes, pale faces, and the complicated act of setting a table -- The exhalations of the earth: on marble statues, engineered stones, white lungs, and small lambs.
Summary, etc.:
In these deeply researched essays, a Paris Review contributor blends science, history, and memoir to explore human obsession with gorgeous things, exposing the fraught histories of makeup, silk, jewels, perfume, and other objects, helping readers to ethically partake in the beauty of the world around them.
Subject: Aesthetics > Social aspects.
Consumption (Economics) > Psychological aspects.
Consumer goods > Psychological aspects.
Material culture > Psychological aspects.
Genre: Essays.

Available copies

  • 2 of 3 copies available at Bibliomation. (Show)
  • 1 of 1 copy available at Howard Whittemore Library - Naugatuck.


  • 0 current holds with 3 total copies.
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Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status Due Date
Howard Whittemore Library - Naugatuck 111.85 KEL (Text) 34027142783631 Adult New Nonfiction Available -

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