A group of black-and-white photographs by Meryl Joseph features arrangements of a remarkable collection of dolls, accompanied by a running text--which is intended to create ""living"" characters, to place them in what could only be called Socially Significant settings, and to make some pseudophilosophical statements. Most of the photographs are arresting--two apprehensive children waiting at a door; a battered black face weeping; mutilations and cast-off limbs. However, the text seems both fey and deliberately obscurantist: ""Gender is a simple thing./ There's no problem of deciding gender./ It's a question of anatomy."" Or just plain dumb: ""It's a hard life, but the rewards are great./ Until you break a leg./ Or give in to age."" There's possibly some penultimate meaning attached to the loss of a second-prize ribbon in a beautiful doll/life (?) contest in Omaha, but who cares? Unless you're sure there is some meaning. Which we wonder about, as well as the publisher's designation of this as fiction.