Hiroshima mon amour

Marguerite Duras (1914 - 1996)
Ann Sperry (1934 - 2009)
Jean de Gonet (* 1950)
Binding by Jean de Gonet. Upper cover

Throughout 1985 and 1986, artist Ann Sperry worked with paper: she coloured the paper pulp, refibred the paper, and applied gold foil to it, thereby creating abstract book illustrations. The remarkable thing is that the illustrations have been applied to the paper itself. The text, which was subsequently printed over the illustrations, is a summary by Marguerite Duras of Alain Resnais' famous film Hiroshima mon amour (1959), for which she had written the screenplay. The synopsis sketches out the story of two survivors of World War II in Japan and in France. This text was first published by Gallimard in 1960.

This is one of 10 deluxe copies (from a total edition of60), to which an extra set of Sperry's special paper art has been added, the so-called 'artist trial proofs' she produced in Aspen (USA) in 1985. Sperry became known first and foremost as a sculptor. She exhibited her work regularly, mainly in her native city of New York, where she made her debut in 1973.

The ten deluxe copies were not published in loose quires, like the regular edition, but were bound by French bookbinder Jean de Gonet. He has defined the appearance of modern bookbinding like no other, by exposing the binding's structure, among other things. This book was bound with a wooden spine in Oriental fashion, the front and back covers are made of supple calfskin and the fore edge has been decorated with perforated iron. Due to the different colours of the leather, every copy of this deluxe edition is unique. Gunnar Kaldewey's publishing business is housed on his estate Poestenkill in the state of New York. He sees it as his task to stimulate collaborations between authors and artists.

  • Page 10 and page 11 (unfolded)

Bibliographical description

Hiroshima mon amour : synopsis / Marguerite Duras ; sur un papier original de Ann Sperry. - New York : Kaldewey, 1986. - [32] p. : ill. ; 50 cm. - (Edition Kaldewey; vol. 10)
Gunnar A. Kaldewey (in the Tower of Poestenkill, New York)
60 copies
This copy:
One of 60 copies on handmade paper by Ann Sperry and Gunnar A. Kaldewey and one of ten deluxe copies with an extra set of proofs by the artist
Jean de Gonet (Parijs)
Signed by the artist
Jean de Gonet relieur: une première rétrospective-90; An exhibition of bookbindings by Jean de Gonet-32
KW Koopm E 52


  • An exhibition of bookbindings by Jean de Gonet. New York, Book Arts Gallery, 1987
  • Paul van Capelleveen, Sophie Ham, Jordy Joubij, Voices and visions. The Koopman Collection and the Art of the French Book. The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, National Library of the Netherlands; Zwolle, Waanders, 2009
  • Paul van Capelleveen, Sophie Ham, Jordy Joubij, Voix et visions. La Collection Koopman et l'Art du Livre français. La Haye, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Bibliothèque nationale des Pays-Bas; Zwolle, Waanders, 2009
  • Marguerite Duras, Hiroshima mon amour. Paris, Gallimard, 1960
  • Jean de Gonet relieur: Une première rétrospective. Bruxelles, Bibliotheca Wittockiana, 1989
  • Jan van der Marck, De hedendaagse boekband als kunst = The art of contemporary bookbinding. Amsterdam, De Buitenkant, 1997
  • The Rocket Four: Making artist books today. [Stuttgart, Cants], 1999