Cherry Hill: A Childhood ReimaginedJona Frank

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Cherry Hill is a multimedia memoir of photographic artist Jona Frank’s difficult upbringing in–and flight from–a stifling suburban household. Told in words and evocative photographs, Frank’s account of her childhood struggles with a repressive mother, mentally ill brother, and overwhelming expectations is leavened with episodes from her rich interior world. Akin to a graphic novel, this hybrid of personal essay and photography breaks open the memoir format, detailing the life of a girl as she spends her days dreaming of a friendship with Emily Dickinson, longing for Bruce Springsteen, and eschewing the rules of femininity.

Frank employs a cinematic approach to construct vivid scenes from her youth. Using elaborately dressed sets, era-specific wardrobes, and multiple actors to portray herself as a child, Frank refashions her memories into vibrant tableaux. Strikingly, Frank cast Academy Award-winning actor Laura Dern in the role of her strict and complicated mother in a performance as bravura as her film and television work.

As Frank outgrows the confines of her environment and suffocating domestic life, discovering art and photography as the path to her fulfillment, she plots her ultimate escape. A unique photographic storytelling project reminiscent of such classics as Fun Home and The Best We Could Do, Cherry Hill is an intimate self-portrait of what it takes to break free of convention and answer the question, “Who am I meant to be?”


  • Format: Hardback
  • Size: 254 × 203 mm (10 × 8 in)
  • Pages: 224 pp
  • Illustrations: 200 illustrations
  • ISBN: 9781580935586

JONA FRANK (b. 1966, Camden, NJ) grew up in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, the daughter of an accountant and homemaker. Her previous books include High School (2004), Right: Portraits from the Evangelical Ivy League (2008), and The Modern Kids (2016). Frank's photographs have appeared in print and online publications including Newsweek, The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, and Mother Jones. Her films and photographs have been exhibited internationally and are held in the collections of the J. Paul Getty Museum, SFMOMA, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, among others. She lives in Santa Monica, California, where she is beloved for her cherry pie.