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Family Frames: Photography, Narrative, and Postmemory Hardcover – November 15, 1997
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[Hirsch] contemplates the relationships among images, family life, memory, lost memory and memory across generations--or "postmemory" as she calls it. For her, photographs and other images are talismans, clues and building blocks of meaning. There are no innocent snapshots for her; all recording is action fraught with political and social implication. (Pat Aufderheide Women's Review of Books)
Marianne Hirsch's Family Frames offer[s] complex and useful new ways to understand our desire for and mediation of memory and history. (Martin Sturken Afterimage)
Marianne Hirsch's new book, Family Frames, looks at family photographs in literature and culture. Although its critical gaze ranges quite broadly--touching upon most of the writers, photographers, and critics who have been centrally concerned with family photography--the book begins and ends by considering family photos in relation to the Holocaust. This nonstandard frame for the subject puts both photography and the family into bold, new relief...This is not a cool, calm book, perfectly synthesizing nostalgia and critique. This is a brave, strong, struggling book, honest in letting us see an unflattering image of the critic. She combines what is seldom seen together: a feminist critique of the family as "haven in a heartless world" with a loving daughter's sensitivity to her Holocaust survivor parents' need to conserve a family threatened with radical loss. (Jane Gallop Visual Resources)
Intelligently conceived...A moving book. And it tells us something important about how we come to understand the story of our lives through the pages of the family photo album. (Nancy K. Miller, Lehman College, CUNY)