Digital Issue 19: Carolyn Drake – Knit Club

Knit Club, © Carolyn Drake/Magnum Photos. Courtesy TBW Books

Excerpt taken from Paper Journal Digital Issue 19, available to download now.

In Knit Club, it is Drake who imagines she is part of this community of women, and they meet on a porch every Tuesday to have a drink and watch the kids play and frolic on the front lawn. Drake does not have children herself and it is a point worth dwelling on; it suggests a longing, as witnessed in the text towards the end of the book where she makes an important announcement; “I am not a mother”. In this statement, we can begin to untie the work’s meaning. I would suggest that Knit Club is a contemplation about mid-life (not implying crisis, to be clear) and the whispers that occur through the peeling wallpaper and creaking floorboards of a faux-gothic “fixer-upper” American home. The conversations within the pages are held together by Drake’s imagination, haunted by the spectres of the women she believes she sees and imagines herself in commune with. Therefore, it can be said that Drake longs to be a part of a desired community, not to be a mother herself. The house itself acts as a catalyst for implied experience, but who is to say what, or who, is or isn’t real?

  • A selection of spreads from Paper Journal digital issue 19. Cover © Elliott Jerome Brown Jr., Vanessa and Diane, 2016

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