- Paperback: 1200 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Books; Reprint edition (October 26, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0143118404
- ISBN-13: 978-0143118404
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 2.6 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 34 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,050,575 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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
+ $3.75 shipping
Imperial Paperback – October 26, 2010
"The Silent Patient" by Alex Michaelides
"That rarest of beasts: the perfect thriller." ―A.J. Finn Pre-order today
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
"Obsessive, strangely engrossing . . . a combination history book, documentary, autobiography, and topographical survey." --Time
"Vollmann has penetrated the soul of a place that is like few others on earth, but whose hardships and triumphs tell you something universal about the durability and ambition of the human spirit." --The Economist
"No one who reads this singular, significant book--half Michael Harrington's The Other America, half James Joyce's Finnegans Wake--will contemplate NAFTA, illegal immigration, or a trip to a 'Southside' brothel without thinking of [Vollmann]." --The Washington Post
"Tracks the battles, real and metaphorical, that define Imperial County--battles over immigration and water, identity and the reach and limitations of political power. The book is perhaps the clearest expression of Vollmann's career-long commitment to immersing himself in complexities." --Los Angeles Times
About the Author
William T. Vollmann is the author of ten novels, including Europe Central, which won the National Book Award. He has also written four collections of stories, including The Atlas, which won the PEN Center USA West Award for Fiction, a memoir, and six works of nonfiction, including Rising Up and Rising Down and Imperial, both of which were finalists for the National Book Critics Circle Award. He is the recipient of a Whiting Writers Award and the Strauss Living Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His journalism and fiction have been published in The New Yorker, Harpers, Esquire, Granta, and many other publications.
Try the Kindle edition and experience these great reading features:
Read reviews that mention
Showing 1-8 of 34 reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Vollmann's documentary photos are published as 8x10s in black and white, as (approximately) 11x14s in sepia, or as landscape formats of various dimensions printed across two-page spreads. Apart from seven pages at the end, there is no commentary because the Viking Penguin book of the same title has the relevant text.
Some may find this collection of (mostly) posed portraits technically limited. I would not disagree. However, within those limits something eloquent can be found in virtually every page opening. To mention a few of this collection's striking moments at random: the way the shadow falls across the face of the border patrol cop on page 7; the portrait on page 11 in which the man and his cap encapsulate the closeness and distance between haves and have-nots; the contrasting mothers on facing pages 84/85; the similarity of character and visage between the ranch owners on facing pages 154/155.
Vollmann's chief subject is the human condition, and his chief interest as a photographer is capturing what people both present and inadvertently manifest to the unhidden camera. Thus the subtleties in these pictures spring from the undisguised and unpredictable way their willing subjects relate to the camera's eye. In this sense the photographic medium constantly announces itself throughout the collection. Here the camera is no voyeur. The trade-off is a lack of (apparently) unselfconscious moments, which have their own telling power. For those, however, one can view the work of almost any other documentary photographer.
Can this collection stand on its own apart from the text it accompanies? Clearly, the publisher believes so. They have produced a handsome, well edited volume that can without apology continue a lineage extending through "Forgotten Village" and "Let Us Now Praise Famous Men" back to (at least) "People of the Abyss." One doesn't need the companion prose to enjoy Vollmann's pleasure and belief in the power of the artifact and his empathetic witness to and celebration of people and environments seldom encountered by us book readers.