Pen & Ink: Tattoos & The Stories Behind Them


Isaac Fitzgerald and Wendy MacNaughton

Pen & Ink grants us access to the stories behind the personal tattoo of writers Cheryl Strayed and Roxane Gay, and rockers in the bands Korn, Otep, and Five Finger Death Punch. But it also illuminates the tattoos of the ordinary people living in our midst-from professors to thrift store salespeople, cafe owners to librarians, union organizers to administrators-and their extraordinary lives.

Edited by Isaac Fitzgerald, who sports twelve tattoos himself, each story “is like being let in on . . . secrets by . . . strangers who passed you on the street or sat across from you on the train” (Strayed) and features Wendy’s full-color illustrations of the tattoos on black-and-white drawings of the bearer's body. At its heart, beneath its colorful skin, Pen & Ink is an exploration of the decision to scar one's self with a symbol and a story.

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