|Print List Price:||$15.99|
Save $7.00 (44%)
Price set by seller.
Learning to See: A Novel of Dorothea Lange, the Woman Who Revealed the Real America Kindle Edition
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.
''Historical fiction fans will gobble up Hooper's novel and be left with the satisfied feeling that they have lived through much of the twentieth century with Dorothea Lange.'' --Publishers Weekly
''A fascinating and sometimes surprising introduction to a woman known for her iconic photographs but not her eventful life. Plenty for book groups to discuss about work-life balance.'' --Library Journal --This text refers to the mp3_cd edition.
From the Back Cover
At a time when women were supposed to keep the home fires burning, Dorothea Lange, creator of the most iconic photographs of the twentieth century, dared to be different. Now, in this riveting new novel by the author of The Other Alcott, we see the world through her eyes . . .
In 1918, a fearless twenty-two-year-old arrives in bohemian San Francisco from the Northeast, determined to make her own way as an independent woman. Renaming herself Dorothea Lange, she is soon the celebrated owner of the city’s most prestigious and stylish portrait studio and wife of the talented but volatile painter, Maynard Dixon.
By the early 1930s, as America’s economy collapses, her marriage founders and Dorothea must find ways to support her two young sons single-handedly. Determined to expose the horrific conditions of the nation’s poor, she takes to the road with her camera, creating images that inspire, reform, and define the era. And when the United States enters World War II, Dorothea chooses to confront another injustice—the incarceration of thousands of innocent Japanese Americans.Learning to See is a gripping account of the ambitious woman behind the camera who risked everything for art, activism, and love. But her choices came at a steep price . . . --This text refers to the paperback edition.
- ASIN : B0756F1GVS
- Publisher : William Morrow Paperbacks (January 22, 2019)
- Publication date : January 22, 2019
- Language : English
- File size : 8753 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 383 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #252,057 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
While I have not yet had a chance to read The Other Alcott (Hooper's first novel,) I've been told that it's an amazing study of a woman overlooked by history. I expected no less from Learning to See and I was not disappointed.
Learning to See is the fictionalized account of the life of Dorothea Lange, a famous documentary photographer from during the Great Depression. Going into the book, I knew nothing of Lange and wasn't sure I was going to be excited about what promised to be an inspiring story set during a pretty dismal time period. Fortunately for me, I was pretty blown away by what I encountered.
Lange, as portrayed by Hooper, is a tough, determined, young woman who appears on the 1920's photography scene. She comes to California from New Jersey to escape her disappointing childhood and establishes herself quickly among great artists who were familiar to me, though I had never heard of Lange herself. Lange's story is peppered with references to the likes of Ansel Adams and Frida Kahlo and those characterizations helped greatly in setting the scene for Lange and helping to set her style and focus apart from others of her time.
Hooper's depictions of San Franciso prior to, during and after The Great Depression are breathtaking...you can feel yourself caught up in the heyday that comprises the California that Lange enters and the encroaching dread as the country begins to slide into one of the most depressing and heartbreaking periods we have ever known.
I was most amazed by Hooper's characterization of Lange as feminist. Our ideas about feminism today seem philosophical to me...being a feminist is about holding a certain set of beliefs. Lange, on the other hand, may have had no idea what it meant to believe in feminism but simply embodied it in pursuit of family, independence, love, career and influence. Parts of Lange's story are absolutely painful to read as the reality of her time and place in history are so well wrought by Hooper.
There was a great deal I didn't know The Depression...Hooper does an amazing job of describing the state of our country through Lange's interviews and photographs and drawing a picture that is as breathtaking as it haunting. Hooper depicts Lange's choices throughout her life...those that are both admirable and questionable...and leaves you both aghast and angry at the obstacles she faced and hopeful for a world with women like her in it.
If you like sharply drawn characters and a strong sense of place and time...and don't mind making the trek up and down the emotional scale with your protagonist, Hooper's Learning to See is a great choice for a 384 page adventure!
Learning to See: A Novel of Dorothea Lange, the Woman Who Revealed the Real America by Elise Hooper (William Morrow, 384 pages, $15.99)
This enchanting novel is a poignant close-up of the awe-inspiring photographer Dorothea Lange, a strong-willed career woman ahead of her time. Elise Hooper draws a delightful story that spans Lange’s success behind the camera in California and across America. With heartwarming details of an early twentieth-century woman’s struggle to balance family, profession, and a passionate love of art, Hooper shows us why Lange was willing to sacrifice everything for what she believed was the greater good.
In 1918, twenty-two-year-old Dorothea Nutzhorn and her best friend arrive in San Francisco with plans to board a ship to travel the world, but a pickpocket takes all their money. The determined Dorothea renames herself Dorothea Lange and, with a little business savvy and a lot of talent with a camera, goes from being penniless to one of the most successful portrait photographers on the West Coast. Her high-society clientele and overnight success quickly gain her the attention of famous painter Maynard Dixon, whom she marries. Soon she has it all: she’s a wife, a mother of two boys, and a professional. Until the market crashes in 1929.
In 1930, the demands of her work and home life come to a head when the Great Depression slows her studio business and the sales of her husband’s paintings drop to zero. Everythingw Dorothea has worked for—career, marriage, and family—unravels. Separated from her husband and with her sons in foster care, she takes to the streets to document the suffering of others with her camera. “If I was going to give up my family, every second needed to count. The sacrifice had to be worth something bigger than me.” And it isn’t long before her new photographs get the attention they deserve. The phone is ringing off the hook, a well-known professor from the University of California at Berkeley wants to use her work for a story, and she is back in business. Her freelance work leads to a job with the State Emergency Relief Administration. And it is then that Dorothea Lange snaps her famous shot, titled Migrant Mother, in 1936. The Berkeley professor becomes Dorothea Lange’s second husband—her true life partner and best friend.
Learning to See is a book you don’t want to put down; it’s a book you’ll pick up and hug long after you’ve turned the last page. A gem!
Top reviews from other countries
Elise Hooper says that the book is based on careful research. Her Note on Sources has a strong weighting of References about Maynard Dixon.
I did not properly read the book description before purchase, so I cant really complain. It's not my style of book. e.g. It's written in the first person as Dorothea. Got as far as page 90 (1920) before giving up, so I can't comment on its overall quality as a Novel. If it had been written as a fictitious story about a pioneering female professional photographer in the 1920/30's, using completely different character names, I might have enjoyed it more.