ULULU (Clown Shrapnel)

Fiction by Thalia Field, illustrations by Bill Morrison and Abbot Stranahan

April 1, 2007 • 7 x 10 • 256 pages • 978-1-56689-196-7

An imaginative triumph, this carnivalesque narrative brings the history of an archetypal stage character to life.

Operatic in scope, ULULU (Clown Shrapnel) is a dramatic, genre-bending narrative and a lyrical cultural biography of the archetypal seductress Lulu. In a furious performance of text and imagery, Field introduces us to the stock characters of the commedia, the famous plays, operas, and silent films in which Lulu appeared, the artists who brought her to life, and the censorship and controversy that she engendered.

As Field’s story peeks into the dressing rooms and back alleys of history, words take the stage, “fictional” and “historical” characters speak side by side, and lyrical symbolism illuminates the pages. Original and treated footage from award-winning filmmaker Bill Morrison and illustrations from artist Abbot Stranahan complete this masterful work of avant-garde fiction, presented in a limited edition of fifteen hundred copies signed by the author and the artists.

About the Author

In addition to her multimedia performance work, Thalia Field is the author of Point and Line and Incarnate: Story Material. She serves on the Literary Arts faculty at Brown University and as a frequent participant in Naropa University’s Summer Writing program. Born in Chicago, she currently divides her time between Providence, Rhode Island and Juneau, Alaska.

Filmmaker Bill Morrison has completed twenty-three films, eight of which are in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art. He is the recipient of two Bessie Awards and an Obie Award and his films have been screened at venues worldwide, including the Sundance Film Festival, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, MoMA, the Tate Modern, and Royal Festival Hall.

In addition to her artwork, Abbot Stranahan has spent many years working with organizations committed to social justice community organizing throughout the country. She lives in New York City with her husband and two children.


“Thalia Field has never been more funny, more frightening, or more formally exhilarating. She has broken down a wall here: now some of us have got to walk through.” —John D’Agata