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Original Skin

Exploring the Marvels of the Human Hide

List Price: $15.95

May 10, 2011 | Paperback | 6 x 9, 320 Pages | ISBN 9781582437392
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“An omnibus of meandering essays on human epidermis takes Australian journalist Cuskelly through reflections on touch, tattooing, fingerprinting, and organ donation, among other themes." —Publishers Weekly

“Like the air we breathe, we take our skin for granted… Yet it is remarkable; it mitigates and ameliorates the sometimes harsh world we dwell in, and is at the interface of so much of what we encounter. It is our border, the edge of ourselves, the point where we meet our universe.”

Original Skin is at times a scientific study, remarking on the biological magic behind the human body’s largest organ. At others it becomes an anthropological survey, dissecting separate societies’ attitudes towards bare bodies, and the motives behind cultural rituals such as tattoos. However, Original Skin is, above all, a celebration of the human body; its tone one of absolute awe for the simultaneously protective and fragile membrane that divides us all from the world that surrounds us. Maryrose Cuskelly’s book — in its examinations of everything from tickling to Botox to books bound in human derma — is a delightful meditation on skin.

MARYROSE CUSKELLY is a freelance writer and editor. She has had essays and articles published in a range of magazines, journals, and newspapers, including Family Circle and The Melbourne Times. She lives in Melbourne with her husband and their two sons.

Praise

“An omnibus of meandering essays on human epidermis takes Australian journalist Cuskelly through reflections on touch, tattooing, fingerprinting, and organ donation, among other themes… There’s a good deal of humor (“Facial tattoos, for example, will most likely ensure that you have a seat to yourself on public transport”) though such nuggets as “peering into the abyss” of severe burn injuries reveals startling information that elevates this lightweight title above an engaging magazine article.” —Publishers Weekly

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