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Diane Arbus: Portrait of a Photographer Paperback – Illustrated, March 14, 2017

4.5 out of 5 stars 137 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“With vivid details and acute insights, Arthur Lubow, an exceptionally talented writer, has brought to life a unique and enduring artist. Through her camera, Diane Arbus gave us an enlarged view of human nature. This book shows who she was and how she did it.” -- Gay Talese

“Arbus...took the time to establish a genuine bond with her subjects so that her photographs, while bold and unsparing, were also deeply sympathetic. Arthur Lubow has approached Arbus in much the same spirit, and the result is a perceptive, engaging, and profoundly moving portrait.” -- John Berendt

“The author produces a thorough, sympathetic portrait of a complicated woman who, from childhood on, stood out as ‘totally original.’ . . . Lubow sharply captures Arbus’ restlessness, pain, and artistic vision.“ -- Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“In a fast-moving narrative style that reads like an eyewitness account, Lubow gets inside both the person and the persona. This book both analyzes and contributes to the notoriety and fascination with one of the most complicated figures in the history of photography.” -- Jeff Wall

“Lubow turned a routine magazine assignment for the New York Times into the defining biography of photographer Diane Arbus . . . Lubow provides not only a comprehensive assessment of her groundbreaking work but, perhaps more significantly, a revealing documentary of Arbus’s often-tortured life.” -- Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Lubow’s portrait is the most sharply focused, encompassing, and incisive to date.” -- Booklist

“Lubow is entering a crowded arena, for the Arbus industry is hardly a place of repose. Yet the author fights for his spot, and earns it. His research is unflagging and his timing is good.” -- The New Yorker

“Enormously satisfying. . . This compelling book shows an Arbus that is as mysterious as her best photographs. Like them, she tells us something about ourselves that is vital, but that we may not always want to see.” -- Nickolas Butler, internationally bestselling author of Shotgun Lovesongs and The Hearts of Men

“Big, sharply focused, disturbingly intimate...Lubow chronicles Arbus’s rise and fall with a novelistic intensity that plumbs the decisive moments of a driven, unsettled soul...A major work.” -- USA Today

“Arthur Lubow’s compelling new biography about the revolutionary photographer Diane Arbus brilliantly demonstrates how the emotionally fragile state of an artist can be channeled into something wondrous. . . . Superbly crafted. . . . Lubow is a talented and sensitive writer.” -- The Washington Post

“The book reads more like a novel-salacious, mysterious . . . and harrowing.” -- New York Times Book Review

“Epic, sympathetic, but unsparing.” -- New York magazine

“A stellar new biography. . . . ruthlessly researched and beautifully written.” -- Philadelphia Inquirer

From the Back Cover

Diane Arbus: Portrait of a Photographer vividly brings one of the great American artists of the twentieth century into focus. Arbus comes to life on these pages, a strong-minded child of disconcerting originality who grew into a formidable photographer of unflinching courage. Arbus forged an intimacy with her subjects that has inspired generations of artists. Arresting, unsettling, and poignant, her photographs stick in our minds. Why did these people fascinate her? And what was it about her that captivated them?

In this definitive biography, Arthur Lubow brushes aside the clichés that have long surrounded Arbus and her work. It is a magnificently absorbing biography of this unique, hugely influential artist.


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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Ecco; Illustrated edition (March 14, 2017)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 752 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0062234331
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0062234339
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 2 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 1.6 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.5 out of 5 stars 137 ratings

Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5
137 global ratings
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Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on June 23, 2016
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Reviewed in the United States on July 21, 2019
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Reviewed in the United States on February 5, 2019
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Reviewed in the United States on July 20, 2019
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Reviewed in the United States on June 27, 2016
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Reviewed in the United States on July 31, 2016
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Top reviews from other countries

Alison Druce
5.0 out of 5 stars Best biography of Diane Arbus by far.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 23, 2020
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jack chalmers
1.0 out of 5 stars Poor material quality
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 9, 2018
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Anybody
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 28, 2020
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 16, 2017
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Mr A.T. Balcombe
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 25, 2017
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