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A Girl and Her Room Hardcover – May 8, 2012

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A Girl and Her Room + Ordinary Lives + She Who Tells a Story: Women Photographers from Iran and the Arab World
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Umbrage Editions (May 8, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781884167768
  • ISBN-13: 978-1884167768
  • ASIN: 1884167764
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 12.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,098,312 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Matar's pictures are direct, honest, and without pretense. They are not political. They transcend time and place and provide comfort and warmth. In spite of the context of war and displacement, they have a beauty of their own and give us hope for a better world." —Constantine Manos, Photographer, Magnum Photos

"A sense of duality informs Matar's work. Much of that duality is what one might expect: East and West, rich and poor, war and peace. But what's most striking about Matar's photography is another duality: its balance between the realistic and poetic. She is the documentarian as lyricist, someone who, recording the incongruous, discovers the transcendent." –Mark Feeney, Boston Globe

"Rania Matar's insightful photographs reveal moments of order and domesticity amidst upheaval to capture the stability found within instability. The particular resilience of children is apparent in her work, which often shows how wonder can permeate the world of a child, regardless of circumstances." –Jill Medvedow, Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston

"Matar approaches her subjects with kindness and a genuine interest in the lives of the girls she photographs. Whether shooting in affluent homes or refugee camps, a cluttered or spare room, Matar photographs the girls with a consistency of vision, working with them to create a photograph that looks to capture the real girl underneath the trappings and confusion of the age." -Photo-Eye blog

"Both visually stunning and culturally captivating, A Girl and Her Room offers a rare vista into one piece of what it means to grow up as a girl and to metamorphose into a woman, with all her obsessions, convictions, and fascinations, prompting us to find the parallels and universals amidst the differences and contrasts. -Maria Popova, Brain Pickings blog

"The thing is: Although Lebanon, in many of these photos, could pass for the States, you probably won't find yourself thinking the inverse: That a Boston bedroom looks like Beirut. But Matar doesn't lament what seems like an undeniable "Westernization" of Lebanese teens. If anything, she celebrates the fact that girls will be girls no matter where they live." -NPR's The Picture Show blog

"Matar's unbiased documentary questions what it means to grow from girl to woman, and how our identities spill over into our material worlds. With essays by Susan Minot and Anne Tucker, A Girl and Her Room is a captivating study of teenage self-expression." -Photo District News

"In many ways, Matar's photographs are closer to documentary than fine art: Although the images are nicely composed, it's the subject matter, not the aesthetic, that's most compelling." -India Stoughton, The Daily Star of Lebanon

"These young adults are on the precipice of entering the "real world" as they get ready to leave the perceived safety of childhood behind; Matar captures each one's true self honestly and powerfully." -David J. Carol, Rangefinder

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kochanie on September 22, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is such a thought provoking book! The colors are amazing, and the quotes by each girl add a little something extra. I could go through this a thousand times and find something new to look at or think about every time.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Susan L. Burnstine on June 17, 2012
Format: Hardcover
What a gem of a book. Another incredible body of work by Rania Matar. Her first book Ordinary Lives has been a longtime favorite. And she's come back with a sophomore effort that is entirely different yet just as meaningful. A must have!
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