PAPER ROAD is a book. It is a research narrative capturing my process of re-orienting myself to an important home-place. A heart-place.

PAPER ROAD is out of print! Please contact me (nicolelavelle at gmail) if you'd like to purchase a PDF version of the book.


This book is the final document of a year-long research project conducted while I was a Graduate Fellow at the Headlands Center for the Arts from July 2016 to July 2017.

What is PAPER ROAD about? See a weird concept framework I made for this project.

The research process and story both begin at my family's summer cabin in Lagunitas, California. I have spent a lot of time in this place. I use houses as vessels for situating my own located experience within broader California cultural contexts and land use histories. The book is a non-linear narrative of fragments, recontextualized image and text collected from private and public archives and collections. The content I assembled from research materials is annotated in first-person narrative, explaining the wild connections that emerged between everything.

The book contains 450 pages of annotated narrative, an introductory essay, a conversation with archivist and independent scholar Rick Prelinger, a non-functional (but poetic!) index, and a bibliography.

Print nerds? The book measures 6.5x9 inches. It is printed in California: on a Risograph duplicator in West Marin, a laser printer in Sausalito, and a photocopier in Rodeo. Its interior pages are cheap white photocopy paper and its cover is two-tone blue file-folder. It is perfect-bound and reinforced with black cloth tape. ("Fastback binding")

I am so proud of this project and excited to share it with you!


If you want to talk about international shipping, please email me!


Before PAPER ROAD was a book, it was an installation, research made tangible, a re-imagination of a museum display, a swipe at the vernacular, a collection of findings. Materials: Redwood, Super-8, milk crates, old paper, nostalgia, family, California, the internet. Photo below by David Robert Elliot. I also gave a visual lecture about the work, which was the precursor to the book.


Kaitlin Pomerantz:
"Nicole's book... is literally a visual/literary/spiritual/mythological masterpiece about the power, politics and necessity of place. Also about feminism, socio-economic and racial inequality as it relates to land use, grief, and so much more. I'm totally floored by this book. I read all 425+ pages immediately after a long flight because it was that captivating."

Jeff Manson:

Mary Welcome:

Andrew Maguire:

Rachel Weidinger:


Want to include your review? Send it to me!

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