Lover of the Fancy

Early C20th American culture and dissent

Vertigo: A Novel in Woodcuts
Lynd Ward


One of the finest wood engravers of the twentieth century, Lynd Ward took his work to a new dimension when he created the “wordless novel. “Gods’ Man, his first novel in woodcuts, appeared in 1929; during the 1930s, he published five more pictorial narratives. Ward earned the Library of Congress Award, the Caldecott Medal, and other prestigious awards. Vertigo, published in 1937, is considered to be his masterpiece. Telling this poignant story with 230 stylized woodcuts, the artist rewards his readers’ eyes with the intricate beauty of his craft – and satisfies their spirits with a freedom of interpretation that extends beyond the reach of words.

Published more than seventy years ago in the midst of the Great Depression, the dramatic tale of three people dealing with financial instability, joblessness, and debt rings strikingly true today. A young girl who longs to be an accomplished violinist, and a boy who hopes to become a builder, find their dreams shattered by desperate economic times. When an elderly gentleman wields his power to cut his business losses, all three lives are changed forever. Includes a new introduction by David Beronä, a woodcut novel historian and the author of Wordless Books: The Original Graphic Novels.

A reprint of the Random House, New York, 1937 edition.

Paperback, 320pp
Dover Publications, 2009 (1937)
ISBN 9780486468891