Literature: The Mysteries of Harris Burdick

If there was an answer, hed find it there.
The Mysteries of Harris Burdick is a picture book by Chris Van Allsburg.

An author and illustrator named Harris Burdick tells an editor that he has written fourteen stories and brings an illustration from each story with a caption, promising to deliver the full manuscript if the editor publishes his stories. Burdick, however, is never seen again. All that remains of him are the fourteen illustrations.

A collection of stories based on the illustrations written by well-known professional authors, The Chronicles of Harris Burdick, was released in 2011.

The book provides examples of

  • Adaptation Expansion: Many authors have taken it to themselves to write adaptations of the illustrations. One of the more notable examples being Stephen King, who wrote a short story based on "The House on Maple Street" for Nightmares and Dreamscapes.
  • Literary Agent Hypothesis: The backstory of Harris Burdick and his illustrations.
  • Mind Screw: Many of the images are this.
  • No Ending: All that remains of each story is a single sentence. Done with the intention that the reader will write their own story based off it.