“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.