In Search of the Monkey Girl. Photographs and Text by Randal Levenson. Stories by Spalding Gray. Aperture/ A New Images Book, New York, 1982. First edition. Large quarto. Stiff photo-illustrated wrappers. 71 pp.
A haunting book of photographs that was the result of Levenson's ten years of travelling to photograph carnival and sideshow freaks. His images of them were captured in their private moments between shows or with their families. Many have striking similiarities to Diane Arbus photographs; they were ususally taken from the same the frontal perspective and often show extreme or intense human situations. Spalding Gray, the writer and playwright, accompanied Levenson to a sideshow at the Tennessee State Fair in Nashville where he was going to try to photograph Priscilla the Monkey Girl and Emmett the Alligator Man, and wrote a wonderfully observant essay about Levenson and his subjects. The thirty-two plates were well-printed by The Meriden Gravure Company in a warm brownish-black.
A fine copy; very minor signs of use on the cover.