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Heartways - The Exploits of Genny O


The Exploits of Genny O

Edited by Rita McBride & Erin Cosgrove
Categories: Visual Arts, Popular Culture, Anthologies, Fiction
Series: Ways Books
Paperback : 9781551521602, 160 pages, 2004


Heartways, a collaboration between the Whitney Museum of American Art, Printed Matter Inc, and Arsenal Pulp Press, is an extraordinary faux romance compilation that deconstructs art, literature, sex, and desire in one fell swoop. Constructed as a "novel," each chapter is written by a different contributor, all of whom create romantic tableaux that simultaneuously work within and outside literary conventions.

Heartways is the turgid, winsome tale of Genny O, a youthful innocent who is saving herself for her one true love. Like Osiris's fate of perpetual death and renewal, Genny is fated to everlasting virginity. Despite all efforts to the contrary, each deflowering is her "first time. " Her steamy adventures are chronicled in eleven stories written by artists, writers, the romance novel cover god Fabio, and curators, who embrace this heroine in purpled prose.

With both drama and humour, we encounter Genny O as she slips through an international art world wrought with demons, desire, and bodice-busting drama. Can Genny O find what she is lacking in the arms of her artist object of desire, or is she doomed to wander the pages of life unloved?

Heartways is the brain child of internationally-acclaimed artist Rita McBride. Rebellious in conceit and execution, it will take you down the road of love and romance to a place in your heart that you always knew was there. . . .

This book is the first of the four-volume Ways series, each book steeped in a particular genre and making use of a collective structure. Subsequent titles include Crimeways, Futureways, and My Ways and include more than fifty different contributions by artists, architects, writers, journalists, curators, and critics.

Contributors include John Baldessari & Erin Cosgrove, Douglas Coupland, Fabio, Michele Hierholzer, Jennifer Nelson, Cate Rimmer, Joe Scanlan, Kimberly Sexton, Kathy Slade, and Michael Turner.


For a project that scavenges the derelict corners of bad writing for a discourse on the commercialization of art and love, The Exploits of Genny O, though slight, is sexy as well as smart.
-Eye Weekly

- eye Weekly

... like the immortal Osiris--or the comically doomed Kenny McCormick, who suffers a violent death in every TV episode of South Park--the young protagonist in a new collaboratively written book is fated to everlasting virginity. Heartways: The Exploits of Genny O is the delightfully twisted brainchild of Rita McBride. ...

-The Globe and Mail

- The Globe & Mail

Heartways has a cultural authority not normally granted to small-press anthologies.
-National Post

- National Post