Photographs by Nancy Crampton. Preface by Mark Strand.
Quantuck Lane Press, New York, 2005. 224 pp., 104 duotone illustrations, 9¾x11¼".
Here are more than a hundred wonderful and sensitive duotone portraits of our major novelists, poets, and playwrights. Paired with the photographs are fascinating texts from each writer on writing—thoughts on the craft, recollections of significant moments from their personal history, meditations on the civic importance of writing, and so forth. Some of these photographs are well known—Bellow, Mailer, Cheever, and Capote—and others have never before been published. Many were taken on location, from Muriel Spark in Tuscany and James Baldwin in Provence to Gabriel Garcia Marquez in Mexico City. All are strikingly fresh and authentic. The pithy and idiosyncratic thoughts on writing are a perfect complement to the superb portraits; often words and pictures seem to exist in a magical rapport. For all of us who care about the American literary scene, Nancy Crampton’s gift is an intimate look at our literary heroes, our Writers.
Advance praise for Writers
“Pictures that magically combine the immediacy of a snapshot and the premeditated calm of a formal portrait. . .an incomparably interesting collection of visions and insights.” —MARK STRAND, from the Preface
“Nancy Crampton’s photographs of writers provide a remarkable record of our literary moment. Everybody is here—including those no longer here—and everybody is alive.”—PHILIP ROTH
“Nancy Crampton’s Writers is an extraordinary and immensely valuable cavalcade of twentieth century writers. As I turned the pages, I rejoiced in encountering so many old friends (and a few old enemies as bonus!). Her choices for juxtaposed texts are illuminating, but the prime enlightenment here is in the psychological vividness and spiritual accuracy of the portraits.”—HAROLD BLOOM
“Nancy has a fine and mysterious way of coming up with the best damn photographs. The mystery is that it all seems effortless.”—NORMAN MAILER
NANCY CRAMPTON lives in New York City and is the official photographer of the Unterberg Poetry Center at the 92nd Street Y, famous for its literary readings. Hundreds of book jackets and magazine articles have featured her photographs.
MARK STRAND Former Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry, Mark Strand is a professor at the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago. He has written ten books of poetry, and his 1999 book A Blizzard of One won him the Pulitzer Prize in poetry.
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