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Alex Appella

writer · book artist

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The János Letter / Después la carta (Trade Edition)
by Alex Appella


In May of 2014 I received a letter in the mail.
From my Great Uncle János.
Years after he passed away.
Years after I finished creating Entonces el libro and The János Book, which tell of him, and his decision to reveal our family’s identity despite decades of secrecy.
The János Letter isn't a Part Two. It isn't a Prologue. It is the continuation of a woven spiral. It is the sharing of true magic, of the sort only real life can provide us with: the inconceivable arrival of an extraordinary letter, across dimensions, through time.


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Are you in Argentina? Get your copy here.



21 x 30 cms
24 pages, full color.
Non-fiction, digitally produced collages.
Bilingual edition (Spanish and English).
Printed in Córdoba, Argentina during the month of July, 2015.
Publisher: Ediciones de la Terraza



I worked for many years researching, writing, and creating The János Book. Over a decade. It's the project that brought me to Argentina originally in 1994, to speak with János, my grandfather's brother. János was the only elder living who could answer questions that arose in our home in the US after going through my deceased grandfather's things.

The János Book came to life as a limited edition artist's book in 2006.

Then, in 2012 the book stepped out of the artist's book world and into the trade edition world, here in Argentina where it was published in Spanish as Entonces el libro.

After nearly 20 years of accompanying this project, I was rather certain I had written and produced all that could be written and produced.

But then, in May of 2014, I received a letter in the mail.

From János.

He wrote it to me in 1984, and due to a string of incredible events, as only real life can offer us, it showed up on my doorstep last May. János passed away in 2003.

The letter from János, both its arrival and its content, was too incredible to not bring to the readers of The János Book. As a writer, and as a book artist, it was a unique challenge to revisit a work I believed to be finished, and to create a book that is neither a prologue, nor a Part Two.

Not only did the new book design need to mesh with the very large János Book in English, it needed to mesh with the much smaller trade edition in Spanish.

The result is The János Letter / Después la carta. Available as a trade edition, available as a limited edition artist's book.
This bilingual creation depends on woven pages, collage and text to capture the impact of the letter's arrival, and its content.


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