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Discarded Ancestors

Elizabeth Leader

City of Light Publishing, 2020


 Found on the sidewalk of an East Side curbside, a photo album saved and turned into evocative collages by Elizabeth Leader has assumed new life. It is now a lovely book, beautifully printed, that includes Leader’s vibrant artworks, her prose/poems commenting on the narrative the photos represent, and a timeline of the family behind the photos. 

As recounted in an introduction by Canisius librarian Lisa M. Sullivan, the photo album Leader found had belonged to Eleanor Weinzierl (1927–2011). Sullivan became intrigued by names written on the backs of the photos and other clues to the owner’s identity, and she managed to track down the family’s story. Though the collages themselves evoke charming tales, it is even more rewarding to view them in the context of the real story behind them. Leader is also the author and illustrator of the childrens’ books Buffalo Snow and Max Meets the Mayor.

Elizabeth Licata is Editor-in-Chief of Buffalo Spree Magazine.

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