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Who Says Writers Don't Photograph Well?

abstract:Since 1983, Marion Ettlinger has immotalized literary greats from Truman Capote to ZZ Packer. Why specialize in portraits of writers?


November 08, 2003
— "They're being photographed because of their internal life, their intellect," she says.  "And here I am, presumably dealing with the superficial, what they look like.  I try to mesh those two things."


Marion Ettlinger discusses the images in her new photobook, Author Photo (Simon & Schuster). Immortalized in these pages are many of America's greatest writers, including Raymond Carver, Francine Prose, Walter Mosley, Mary Karr, John Irving, Joyce Carol Oates, Truman Capote, Cormac McCarthy, Patricia Highsmith, Ken Kesey, Edwidge Danticat, and Jeffrey Eugenides.


According to one of Ettlinger's Pulitzer Prize-winning subjects, "starkness and a sense of shadows" are at the core of her artistic allure. Shot exclusively in natural light and in black-and-white film, each of these images is an intimate artwork, putting the reader closer than ever before to the writers they revere and admire.


This is an interesting book for three categories of people, well actually four: Writers, Photographers, Editors, and People Like Us—who just like to see the essence of the person behind the words. 


*Excerpts taken from Entertainment Weekly (November 14, 2003) article by Amy Feitelberg and Amazon Editorial Review/Book Description

By Paula Shackleton



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