Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ Free Shipping
+ Free Shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
Eight Girls Taking Pictures: A Novel Hardcover – November 6, 2012
|New from||Used from|
This month's Book With Buzz: "Stranger in the House" by Shari Lapena
In this neighborhood, danger lies close to home. A thriller packed full of secrets and a twisty story that never stops - from the bestselling author of "The Couple Next Door." See more
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Amazon Best Books of the Month, December 2012: We rarely hear grown women called "girls" these days, unless they've gone wild, but it was common practice in the settings for Whitney Otto's affecting portraits of female artists. The author, who has spun tales of women and crafts before (eight other ladies starred in her 1991 best seller, How to Make an American Quilt), takes a fresh approach here. More a novel in linked pieces than a set of discrete works, Eight Girls Taking Pictures introduces a range of protagonists in various eras and countries, each with a shutter-happy dream and an obstacle in the way of achieving it. These roadblocks take the form of men--unrelenting fathers, unsympathetic husbands--and social trends, including racism, homophobia, and aversion to the idea of females as creative. Otto's intelligent, sensitive approach to the plight of these women gives Eight Girls its appeal: Safe in our modernity, we trust that their talent will win out in the end. --Mia Lipman
Inspired by the careers of such ground-breaking photographers as Lee Miller, Imogen Cunningham, and Grete Stern, Otto combines her personal passion for the art of photography with her perceptive impressions of what life must have been like for those women who pursued their own creative and philosophical muses during times when to be anything other than a wife-and-mother was to be an outcast from society. Through loosely interconnected tales, Otto introduces eight exemplary fictional women photographers whose lives and works document the exhilarating intersection of early-twentieth-century art and feminism. Traversing the world from Berlin to Buenos Aires, Otto’s heroines find themselves both catalysts for and captives of changing times and values. From the makeshift darkroom of the pioneering Cymbeline Kelley to the Parisian portrait studio of Amadora Allesbury to the New York landscapes captured by Miri Marx, Otto’s photographers battle society’s denunciations and personal demons as they seek love, acceptance, success, and harmony. A visionary and distinctive look at the sacrifices and triumphs of daring women artists. --Carol Haggas
Browse award-winning titles. See more
Top customer reviews
So it is with women divided between the traditional roles of helpmate, parent , and homemaker competing with the often selfish role of artist. The girls in the book are born into worlds from the early 1900's to the present. The cameras they use vary. The settings range from the farm to pre war Berlin. They are the proverbial free woman or wife and mother. But each must master the contradictions in their worlds. Reactions to photography can be extreme, given that the nudes are demonstrably real people. Otto does a good job of leaving some judgements for us to desolate for ourselves.
Otto describes the worlds of these women in such a way that one can taste the internal conflict inherent in each. The first story presents a young mother, left to care for two children and a farm, while her narcissistic husband travels for his work. Her own photography is often caught in the bind despite her own superior credentials. I sighed, thinking here is the classic woman's story. But Otto takes it quickly into her interior world and brought me in. Cymbeline, trained in Berlin, is the first cameo, and her views reappear through this book. I think that the vignettes set in pre WWII Berlin were most bewitching to me. The frisson between the exquisite glowing world of the growth of the arts and the looming of the Nazi end of it all, plays out in the world of the girls taking pictures.
Otto notes that this is not biographical, but she did draw heavily on her researched stories of some prominent women photographers. The aesthetics she expresses read true and brought me to a new view of this art form. An interesting book to experience.
I jumped at a chance to read this book for Whitney Otto's "How to Make an American Quilt" has been one of my favorite reads about women of different ages and the support they give and receive from one another. It is about their stories of which are rich, dark or secret, but ultimately unique and have helped to create the woman they are at the time of the story. In stating this, 'Eight Girls Taking Pictures" has been woven in the same manner. I did recommend the book to a girlfriend and she was not crazy about it.
Because of the frank, even coarse, explicit language, and some of the art photos that illustrate this book, it is for adults only. There is one chapter, number seven, I think, that could stand alone for younger serious art students. There is a brief bibliography of serious women photographers.
Buyers should get the hard cover edition because it has a three-dimensional dust jacket illustration that will make copies of the book increasingly valuable if the jacket survives. I complement the publisher for this.
Most recent customer reviews
girls taking pictures give us pictures of what life was like for...Read more