We had a unique cross over in the shop this week with two fabulous novels about iconic female photographers and decided to do a concept Fiction Pick for the week!
learning to see – elise hooper
While the cover of this book feels like a biography, and is indeed written by usual biographer Elise Hooper, it is a first person novelisation of the key moments in the photographer’s life. Hooper has used the facts on record and a bit of broad brush work to create a very unique and enjoyable read.
In 1918, a fearless twenty-two-year old arrives in bohemian San Francisco from the Northeast, determined to make her own way as an independent woman. Renaming herself Dorothea Lange she is soon the celebrated owner of the city’s most prestigious and stylish portrait studio and wife of the talented but volatile painter, Maynard Dixon.
By the early 1930s, as America’s economy collapses, her marriage founders and Dorothea must find ways to support her two young sons single-handedly. Determined to expose the horrific conditions of the nation’s poor, she takes to the road with her camera, creating images that inspire, reform, and define the era. And when the United States enters World War II, Dorothea chooses to confront another injustice—the incarceration of thousands of innocent Japanese Americans.
At a time when women were supposed to keep the home fires burning, Dorothea Lange, creator of the most iconic photographs of the 20th century, dares to be different. But her choices came at a steep price
Other “bio-fiction” you might like…
the age of light – whitney scharer
Primarily following the intense love affair between model and aspiring photographer Elizabeth “Lee” Miller and photographer Man Ray. In her debut novel Scharer has painted a beautiful portrait of a tumultuous relationship between two giant names in the Surrealist movement, bringing Miller’s accomplishments out of the shadow of her colleague.
`I'd rather take a picture than be one,' Lee Miller declares, as she arrives in Paris one cool day in 1929. Lee has left behind her life in New York and a successful modelling career at Vogue to pursue her dream of becoming a photographer. She soon catches the eye of renowned Surrealist artist Man Ray and convinces him to hire her as his assistant. Man is an egotistical, charismatic force, and as Lee becomes both his muse and his protege, they embark upon a passionate affair.
Lee and Man spend their days working closely in the studio and their nights at smoky cabarets, opium dens and wild parties. But as Lee begins to assert herself, and to create pioneering work of her own, Man's jealousy spirals out of control, and leads to a betrayal that threatens to destroy them both.