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Hold Still: A Memoir with Photographs PDF, ePub eBook A revealing and beautifully written memoir and family history from acclaimed photographer Sally Mann. In this groundbreaking book, a unique interplay of narrative and image, Mann's preoccupation with family, race, mortality, and the storied landscape of the American South are revealed as almost genetically predetermined, written into her DNA by the family history that prece A revealing and beautifully written memoir and family history from acclaimed photographer Sally Mann. In this groundbreaking book, a unique interplay of narrative and image, Mann's preoccupation with family, race, mortality, and the storied landscape of the American South are revealed as almost genetically predetermined, written into her DNA by the family history that precedes her. Sorting through boxes of family papers and yellowed photographs she finds more than she bargained for: "deceit and scandal, alcohol, domestic abuse, car crashes, bogeymen, clandestine affairs, dearly loved and disputed family land . . . racial complications, vast sums of money made and lost, the return of the prodigal son, and maybe even bloody murder." In lyrical prose and startlingly revealing photographs, she crafts a totally original form of personal history that has the page-turning drama of a great novel but is firmly rooted in the fertile soil of her own life.

30 review for Hold Still: A Memoir with Photographs

  1. 5 out of 5

    Matt Barr

    In all honesty, as a fan of Sally Mann I anticipated this being given 4-stars before I ever read a single page. It got a rare (for me) 5-stars because it exceeded my expectations in every way. This book has the sort of whimsical feral aura of Jeanette Walls's The Glass Castle while at the same time rich in substance and background information about Mann's more well known photography. Well written, a testament to Bennington College where my favorite writer (Donna Tartt) also studied approximately In all honesty, as a fan of Sally Mann I anticipated this being given 4-stars before I ever read a single page. It got a rare (for me) 5-stars because it exceeded my expectations in every way. This book has the sort of whimsical feral aura of Jeanette Walls's The Glass Castle while at the same time rich in substance and background information about Mann's more well known photography. Well written, a testament to Bennington College where my favorite writer (Donna Tartt) also studied approximately a decade later and the State of Virginia where both writers supposedly live. An excellent glimpse into the mind of a photographic master and life of a truly unique individual. A required reading for photographers, and really everyone else.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    For me this was a treat to experience a photographer I admire looking back at her life to try to identify the influences on her identity and craft in the rural geography and community of her home in Lexington, Virginia, and the diverse threads of heritage from various branches of her family. Her narration of her account in the audiobook version made this experience personal and more powerful. This version and the ebook one comes with a pdf file of several hundred images to illustrate her story, For me this was a treat to experience a photographer I admire looking back at her life to try to identify the influences on her identity and craft in the rural geography and community of her home in Lexington, Virginia, and the diverse threads of heritage from various branches of her family. Her narration of her account in the audiobook version made this experience personal and more powerful. This version and the ebook one comes with a pdf file of several hundred images to illustrate her story, including family snapshots, historical images, and examples that reveal the stages in the development of her themes in photography. The resolution is poor in this presentation so don’t consider this book for a reasonable window into her art. Because of the controversy she stirred in her use of nude pictures of her children in the early 90s, that topic will be of most interest to the average reader. Indeed, I couldn’t help wanting to weigh the quality and power this this work against the potential harm to her children from the images drawing the prurient interest of the pedophiles of the world. For a decent rendering of such art (and accepting the huge degradation from gallery prints), along with an account of her purposes and experience with the controversy, check out the New York Times Magazine article from April 2015: Sally Mann’s exposure: What an artist captures, what a mother knows and what the public sees can be dangerously different things. She argues that her kids were well attuned to the stagecraft behind the work to present the contradictions of childhood innocence and preternatural darkness, even admitting precursors to eroticism. A good example of the artifice of her craft is the bottom image here of her three kids looking collusive in their malevolence and another shot seconds before (above), in which the expression of each is now more innocent and independent. This is no linear autobiography. She doesn’t dwell much on her childhood or claim any sort of special early talent. Instead, she identifies themes and precursors of her life mission and obsessions. The sense of pervasive ties to the landscapes of her youth and the woods and fields that were her playground, her lifelong affinity for raising and riding horses, the pervasive influence of class and racism of the South, with its almost European sensibility of being a defeated nation after the Civil War. More than any other memoir I’ve read she emphasizes the extensive blanks in her memory, even from her adult life. She regrets that so much of her childhood and the lives of her parents and family are reconstructed from a small set of snapshots. As she expands to search out the roots to her character from her ancestors, many of whom she has only story vignettes from others, the few photographic images she has are even more fraught with dangers of false projection. The following formulation reminds me of similar reflections I recently gathered from Barthes’ Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photograpy: Photography would seem to preserve our past and make it invulnerable to the distortions of repeated memorial superimpositions, but I think that is a fallacy: photographs supplant and corrupt the past, all the while creating their own memories. As I held my childhood pictures in my hands, in the tenderness of my “remembering,” I also knew that with each photograph I was forgetting. From her father, a country doctor, she identifies origins of her Gothic imagination and fascination with mortality. He was obsessed with various cultural representations of death in art and writing, which drove much exploration, collection of artefacts, and his own dabbling with short stories, photography, and sculpture. Her mother was a college librarian, which helped shape Sally’s love of writers of the South like Faulkner and Welty and poets like Rilke. Sally’s experiments in writing while in private school in Vermont, college, and her masters she complete in creative writing contains much of the precursors she identifies in her photography. As her parents provided little in the way of physical affection, she sees her more demonstrative compassion and empathy for people as deriving from her black nanny, Gigi, who was an integral part of her family for more than fifty years. For her Gigi was the heart and soul of her family. Her explorations and investigations of her grandparents and more distant ancestors at first seem digressive. Their stories were interesting in their own right as a portrait of various paths in immigrant adaptations in their pursuit of the American Dream. Dark secrets of adultery, crime, and abuse speak to the shame in the closets of most families and provide underground influences on successive generations. Unfortunately from my perspective, she tends to reach to genetics for a causal medium: The curious tapestry of fact, memory, and family legend that emerged from my attic seems to suggest antecedents for certain aspects of my character that have always been mysterious to me—the occasional but intense bouts of sadness, my romanticism and techy sensitivity, the plodding work ethic, and my tendency toward Talmudic hairsplitting, factiousness, and unrest. These genetic threads bind me invisibly to the past, and especially to my stoic, passionate, and sentimental grandfather, Arthur Evans. Regardless of the mechanism, the common human need to search for the lifesprings of identity from family heritage is something I can get on board with. From her Welsh forbears, she captures this theme: Just like us southerners, the Welsh are often depicted as nostalgic and melancholic, their heads stuck in the past while pining for hopelessly lost causes. The culture of the South stimulates her obsession with the haunting landscape, which contains the bones of many Indians and Civil War dead. A phase of her early work staged spooky scenes of figures and efforts to evoke the illusion of ghosts and spirits. For her, this is: The sense of moldering decadence, the cursed inheritance, and, of course, the inevitable haunted home place. That haunted home place, a metaphor for the South itself. Always in reading autobiographies and memoirs of my heroes of creativity I get that hopeless hope of grasping the germ of what it takes to make something masterful, whether book, art, song, or theory. I know any crumbs tossed out in that line is likely to be hand-waving. A genius can’t account for their genius creations. Still, I appreciated her sharing about her way of homing in on a worthy shot and print. A cliché but a meaningful one to Mann is putting herself in the right place and right time and then wait for the light and environment to be right. A worthy shot she achieved of her boy emerging out of a river took several days in boots in the water with her tripod and 8X10 field camera, while her son froze his ass off posing in the cold water. With smaller cameras she did harvest some good shots that were more spontaneous and closer to capturing the ephemeral, as for example a famous shot taken when her daughter suddenly leapt up and danced on a table. All in all, this was a surprising joy to read, well written, and a significant window into the origins of the aesthetic sensibility of a major creative figure. Sally Mann, 2007 (by Michele Hood)

  3. 5 out of 5

    Chrissie

    While reading, still at the beginning: I am enjoying this a lot. At the same time I am upset. Why? Because the audibook includes a PDF file with more than 400 photos. What is VERY annoying is that the PDF file does not work correctly. I can only see 12 photos, and these photos I know now were not part of this book. Audible says they will fix it, but when? I was told that others have run into the same problem. This is a warning to other readers. As you listen the author tells you to look at parti While reading, still at the beginning: I am enjoying this a lot. At the same time I am upset. Why? Because the audibook includes a PDF file with more than 400 photos. What is VERY annoying is that the PDF file does not work correctly. I can only see 12 photos, and these photos I know now were not part of this book. Audible says they will fix it, but when? I was told that others have run into the same problem. This is a warning to other readers. As you listen the author tells you to look at particular photos and I cannot do that. :0( Make sure you have access to all the photos/pictures before you start listening to the audiobook. Even without the photos I very much appreciate the book, but knowing that I should be able to see them annoys me to no end. ********************** On completion: Well, finally I have seen all the photos. They are half of the book; the lines are woven around them. You cannot judge the book without access to them! Unfortunately I was able to see them only after hearing the entire audiobook. You should look at the pictures as you listen, not afterwards. I was going to give the book three stars before I saw the photos, but now having seen them I feel that "the whole" is worth at least four stars. One's whole perception is altered. What are the photos of? Of course Sally Mann's photography, but not just that. You see photos of her ancestors, her parents and her g-o-r-g-e-o-u-s kids. Her beloved black nanny Gee-Gee, her father's black nanny (Look, this is a Southern family!), letters, children's drawings, dogs, report cards, disciplinary notes, art work and more. You see real life. Art and "photography as art" is best when its subject matter is real life. Sally Mann thinks that, and so do I. The photos and the lines of text explaining them hold the book together. There is one very simple reason why I REALLY liked this book, and again I see this best having now viewed the pictures, Sally and I are born in the same year (1951). Same clothes, same "country life", same hairstyles, same mannerisms. I remember those times, and the photos bring it all back in spades. There is one photo there of her that when my husband saw it, exclaimed, but that looks just like YOU, meaning me! Remember, I mentioned the hairstyles. My brother was into black and white photography and there is one pose that is amazingly similar. You see that time in sharp focus. There is more that I recognize. Her honest portrayal of her own life, the wonder of it along with the vomit and heartbreak, feels like my own life. ….even if I never lived in the South! Her mother comes from Boston. Her father from Texas. She grew up in Virginia but went to boarding school on the East Coast. Her parents valued a good education. This is a given in the world she came from. At the same time she is a free spirit. Or let's be blunt - she is naughty, she is mischievous. She rode horses; she was a "tom girl" at heart. She is a person who adores the country, rural life over an urban milieu. She sees its beauty. There is even more. I feel a kindred spirit in what she was trying to express through her photography, with her honesty, with all her questions. She, like I, do not always have to get answers, but love the whole process of looking for answers, not to get them but to look for them. Does that make sense? This book does not provided finished answers to the questions posed. This doesn’t bother me. I adore Sally Mann's photography. In this book she looks with us at some of her photos, her successes and some of the "failures". She explains what she thinks has gone wrong, and every darn time I nodded. Exactly! She, like I, don't think art should be analyzed. Either you see it or you don't. People don't necessarily react in the same way. Oh, and about the uproar that the naked photos of her children caused - utterly ridiculous! I was in Sweden then. My kids ran around naked at, yes, public beaches. Women were topless at public beaches then, at least in Sweden. For God's sake she and her kids were all alone on their own property, in the woods, in a river with not a soul for miles and miles! What a hullabaloo about nothing. Didn't people see the spirit of the children, their natural beauty and their dignity? Look at the head, the jut of the chin, the eyes. Capturing that is art in its purest form. She thanks her children for creating these masterpieces with her. She understood and they understood too that they were creating art. Together. In this book, she thanks her children, but I also think what a gift she has given her children by working with them. The book isn't perfect.....but almost. ;0) The topics covered are, beside art, the biography of her family, the South, race and death/mortality. She doesn't attempt to give you a biographic summary of every one in her family, only those closest to her, her father and his grandfather b/c those two were so similar. These three are peas in a pod. That is why in the book description the topic of genetic predetermination comes up! I find nature versus nurture question a fascinating topic! Race is covered best as she critically questions her own behavior and her parents' treatment of her nanny, Gee-Gee. Did she love Gee-Gee and did Gee-Gee love her? Definitely. What about the love between her and her father and her mother too? This is so honestly portrayed. How often is it that you can pick up an autobiography and get the truth! Ooops, that is more praise, but what doesn't quite work is the spread of the topics covered. There is a bit too much. Her theme of looking at "the South" could have been cut. She also has an "exciting episode" that even if it did happen it feels as though it is there to attract readers. Look at the second paragraph of the book description. That whole paragraph could have been eliminated, but it is there to attract readers. This episode could be seen as a thread twined into the topic of death and mortality, but it's weak. Its real purpose is for excitement. The writing - it's oblique, more often allusive than blunt. She refers to artists and authors and books and singers and the trends of her time. You must be able to snap them up immediately in order to understand the point made, to understand the innuendos. Particularly when listening to the audiobook. The author narrates the book herself. Sometimes, to catch the significance of what she is implying, a little slower speed would have been good, but this is not a serious complaint. She does a good narration. One more thing. This is a new kind of audiobook. Sure, I have run into audiobooks with a PDF file, but never have so many pictures been provided. A wonderful new trend!!!! IF I had had access to the photos as I read the book, I might very well have given this five stars. Audible gave me a credit as compensation. I think that was kind of them!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Susan Johnson

    I didn't like this book and I didn't like Sally Mann. It was the most boring book I have read in a long time. First of all, she really puts a great emphases on how smart she supposedly is. She includes notes from elementary, high school and college teachers. Pardon me while I yawn. This book is interspersed with photos, copies of notes and letters, and anything Mann throws in to make herself look good. Her notoriety comes from the nude photos she took of her children growing up. Many people fou I didn't like this book and I didn't like Sally Mann. It was the most boring book I have read in a long time. First of all, she really puts a great emphases on how smart she supposedly is. She includes notes from elementary, high school and college teachers. Pardon me while I yawn. This book is interspersed with photos, copies of notes and letters, and anything Mann throws in to make herself look good. Her notoriety comes from the nude photos she took of her children growing up. Many people found them sexually suggestive. I found them exploitive but not really offensive. Mann spends time defending herself on the photos calling herself naïve time and time again. That's OK for awhile but it gets tiresome when she doesn't smarten up at all. She is shocked that pedophiles are interested in them. Really? She also separates the pictures from the children. She says the children are merely actors in the pictures and can keep the two separate identities apart even the 6 year old. Then she goes on to say how nice it is to have pictures of their childhood. Which is it? Are they separate or true depictions? After that she goes on to explore past relations. She discusses her husband's parents murder/suicide. Then she goes on to discuss kinfolk in even the more distant past. This is when I lost complete interest and just thumbed through the rest of the book's pictures. By then I was so turned off that I didn't even enjoy them. This was definitely not the book for me.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Shannon

    Like many artists, American photographer Sally Mann is best known for her most controversial work. In the early 1990’s, Mann released a collection of photos called Immediate Family, which focused on her three young children. Taken on the family’s remote Virginia farm, the photographs show her children playing, swimming, and existing in their natural childlike state, which—in the hot Southern weather—often happened nude. As quickly as Mann was praised for her work, she was also criticized; people Like many artists, American photographer Sally Mann is best known for her most controversial work. In the early 1990’s, Mann released a collection of photos called Immediate Family, which focused on her three young children. Taken on the family’s remote Virginia farm, the photographs show her children playing, swimming, and existing in their natural childlike state, which—in the hot Southern weather—often happened nude. As quickly as Mann was praised for her work, she was also criticized; people across the country saw the pictures as little more than pornography and couldn’t wait to tear her down. In her new memoir, Hold Still, Sally Mann traces her life and career prior to the infamous photographs, as well as the impact they had on every moment since. In theory, Hold Still shouldn’t work. It’s close to 500 pages, meanders its way into almost unbelievable territory, and isn’t written chronologically. But somehow, almost like Mann’s artwork, the oddities are what give the book its magic. The high page count is tempered with dozens of photographs that illustrate Mann’s life, while the overarching, thematic story feels forward-moving, despite its wayward chronology. Though she touches on a number of fascinating topics, the highlight of Hold Still is reading Mann’s thoughts as she looks back on Immediate Family. She breaks down how the photos were taken, her mindset while taking them, and the fallout of their publication. This grows into an intriguing discussion of the purpose of art and criticism that Mann puts into incredibly powerful words, braced by the beautiful portrait she paints of her family. Both longtime fans and readers previously unfamiliar with Mann’s work are sure to find the life she shares in Hold Still endlessly engaging and fascinating. More at rivercityreading.com

  6. 5 out of 5

    Tricia

    It's entirely unfair that such a unique visual artist is also a superb writer, but such is life. Read this for its striking and original verbal imagery, its honesty and wit, and for the bizarre, stranger-than-fiction family stories. Mann is fearless, staring beauty and decay, life and death, eye to eye--well, eye to lens, anyway. The gorgeous photos will send you straight to her collected photos.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Teresa

    2.75 A friend recommended I read the introduction to this, saying she didn’t feel as if I necessarily needed to read further. So that was my intention; but I continued on as I was drawn into Mann’s vague, though (deservedly) sensationalistic descriptions of what she found in the family archives stored in her attic. With photos to illustrate, Mann writes of the place she lives in; her career; and the stories of her (and some of her husband’s) ancestors. Some of these people were important to histo 2.75 A friend recommended I read the introduction to this, saying she didn’t feel as if I necessarily needed to read further. So that was my intention; but I continued on as I was drawn into Mann’s vague, though (deservedly) sensationalistic descriptions of what she found in the family archives stored in her attic. With photos to illustrate, Mann writes of the place she lives in; her career; and the stories of her (and some of her husband’s) ancestors. Some of these people were important to history in general. All is told in a rather chatty, informal style. She ended up losing me with the too-many details of both sides of her family, in particular the too-many details of her beloved father’s life. I understand why the details about her father were fascinating to her; even so, there were way too many of them. Despite sections like the one on her commissioned work of photographing decomposing human bodies (photographs included), many times her conclusions throughout seem superficial instead of profound, her connections sometimes forced. In the chapter about her Welsh antecedents, while comparing Welsh people to U.S. southerners in their “linking memory and landscape,” she quotes from a R.W. Parry sonnet. That page and the aforementioned introduction are worth reading. Waking in the rushes the echo of an echo, / And in the heart the memory of a former memory (R. Williams Parry)

  8. 4 out of 5

    Antigone

    Sally Mann is an artist who unsettles - though this memoir stands as proof that she does not intend it. You may remember several years ago the surface of a series of photographs she'd taken of her children in which they appeared unclothed. That project caused an uproar, and the backlash of judgment and vitriol surprised her. It's easy to see why when accorded the context of her upbringing. Ms. Mann, herself, had a childhood aversion to clothes and spent most of her formative years running around Sally Mann is an artist who unsettles - though this memoir stands as proof that she does not intend it. You may remember several years ago the surface of a series of photographs she'd taken of her children in which they appeared unclothed. That project caused an uproar, and the backlash of judgment and vitriol surprised her. It's easy to see why when accorded the context of her upbringing. Ms. Mann, herself, had a childhood aversion to clothes and spent most of her formative years running around without them. (Her father nicknamed her "Jaybird.") Raised on a thirty acre property in the wilds of Virginia, her life was rural in the extreme; no television, no social influence, no ritual suburban connections. And while she eventually succumbed to apparel, she's held fast to the reclusive arrangement of her youth for the majority of her adult life. This communal remove would certainly account for her ignorance of the modern-age hyper-vigilance with regard to child abuse, abduction and pedophilia. Had she known, would she still have released the photographs? Yes, she says. (Though one suspects she would have been much better prepared for the reaction.) Some would call this cultural disconnect a drawback, but in art it is often crucial. Getting in touch with the fundamental forces that underpin human life often necessitates the removal of societal intrusion. Taste and trend, popular agreement, the common sensibility, habitual acquiescence and routine defense are sheared from the stalk of experience in order to locate the central, and often difficult, realities with which we contend. This is invariably achieved through withdrawal and isolation. When successful, the work such an artist produces is frequently powerful and, from a cultural standpoint, disconcerting. Sally Mann's photography falls into this range - as evidenced not only by the project involving her children, but by the two endeavors that followed it: a series depicting the bodies of black men in an effort to process the lingering echoes of slavery, and a series depicting corpses as they cycle through decomposition in an effort to address physical death. Selected images from her many projects appear in the book, along with stories about her life and the tracings of her family's history. Her writing voice is distinct and dances, as her art must, to its own narrative tune. Honest, eccentric, impassioned, this is certainly the communication of an artist alive and working in America today. If an encounter with that most rare of species appeals, then this is a memoir you might consider.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Imillar

    A Southern Gothic memoir in all senses of the word, Sally Mann's turbulent life makes for fascinating reading. Stalkers, convicts, the civil rights movement,and any number of crazy dogs and relatives are part of her story, and her photos, liberally sprinkled throughout the book, are even better with their context explained. As a small girl, she was both an intelligent and feral child, brought up by cultured parents of a generation that hired African-American domestic help to raise their children A Southern Gothic memoir in all senses of the word, Sally Mann's turbulent life makes for fascinating reading. Stalkers, convicts, the civil rights movement,and any number of crazy dogs and relatives are part of her story, and her photos, liberally sprinkled throughout the book, are even better with their context explained. As a small girl, she was both an intelligent and feral child, brought up by cultured parents of a generation that hired African-American domestic help to raise their children. Her loving ode to Gee-Gee, the family housekeeper who in a sense really raised her, is a riveting story in and of itself. The impetus for this book came when she was asked to give the Massey lecture, and it triggered her research into a family history so outlandish at some points that you couldn't even dream this stuff up. (plotspoilers ahead here!) Murder-suicide of one's in-laws?? Check. Photographing dead bodies at the FBI Body Farm? Check. Maternal grandmother's flagrant affair with the wealthy older neighbour? Check. I could list another 15 shockers in here and still not spoil all the surprises in the book. And she has a lovely writing style.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Betsy Robinson

    Earthy, fierce, sensual, and elegant—that is the nature of this person, the gorgeous writing, and also, it seems, the nature of the American South, as expressed by photographer Sally Mann in her stunning autobiography. Just like the cover which shows a child “holding still” mid-jump, surrounded by sky, the writing manages to simultaneously move and hold you. Sally Mann and I are the same age, we occupied the same territory for a time (same class at Bennington), but I don’t recall knowing her. If Earthy, fierce, sensual, and elegant—that is the nature of this person, the gorgeous writing, and also, it seems, the nature of the American South, as expressed by photographer Sally Mann in her stunning autobiography. Just like the cover which shows a child “holding still” mid-jump, surrounded by sky, the writing manages to simultaneously move and hold you. Sally Mann and I are the same age, we occupied the same territory for a time (same class at Bennington), but I don’t recall knowing her. If I did meet her, I’m sure I took one look at the ferocious expression in her eyes—illustrated in some of the many photographs in this book and acknowledged by her—and I would have given her a wide berth. She describes herself as a “feral child.” Funny, because I’ve used the same words to describe myself at that time. But where she was fearless, I was afraid of anything and everything. Where she moved forward with jet propulsion, I free fell. But I think now we would be friends. She is honest, self-aware, and naked about her personality proclivities: “. . . I have always been susceptible to some form of opportunistic sorrow—of the deepest, most soul-wrenching, step-off-the-cliff variety.” (203)In a world filled with people (and media) who move seamlessly from true grief to exaggerated, self-feeding “opportunistic sorrow,” I think this is the first time I’ve ever read it admitted and so well named, and it made me cheer. To name a feeling “opportunistic” requires so much more energy and emotional muscle than simply accepting it as true and reacting with it—particularly for self-described genetically disposed intense sensitives like Sally Mann. Opportunistic emotions are so seductive and even addictive because they’re fueled by a literal hormonal high. Not only high-drama sorrow, but anger, self-righteousness, and blind fear. And these highs do fuel themselves: the more we react with them, the more furious the flow: A bully name-calls; the target responds in kind. And on and on the snowball of emotions and the consequent dangerous situations expand. It takes reflection and willful stillness to interfere with this seductive process; Sally Mann doesn’t claim to have mastered this in her life, but in this book, as the photographer that she is, she insists on waiting, observing, and finally clicking—forcing stillness on an experience in all its ramifications, holding it so we all can see the truth or falseness of one moment. And if it’s a flawed moment, a moment of “opportunistic sorrow,” she eloquently names it. She also addresses the basic falseness of photography itself—how pictures distort reality and rob us of memories based on living in the moment. But there are so many things like that in this book—things that, when named, make you say, “But of course. I’ve always noticed or felt or known or lived that. But until now, I’ve never seen it in words.” This autobiography is rich in soul. It is an ode to Mann’s beloved Virginia land and the earth itself. It is an artist’s memoir. It is a deep discussion about race relations. And it is also an investigation: Going through an attic of family records, Mann connects the dots, finds the roots of her attractions and aversions and opportunistic idiosyncrasies in her ancestors. How often I’ve wished I could do something similar, but in my case, everybody is dead and there is no depository of family lore. But reading her story, I imagined doing the same thing and finding maybe one or two people—people I’ve never even heard of—who are just like me: obsessed and aware, motivated and lazy, terrified and fearless, alive and dying. And for some reason that gives me peace—peace that comes from seeing more of the whole picture, more truth. Mann writes:“I see both the beauty and the dark side of things; the loveliness of cornfields and full sails, but the ruin as well. And I see them at the same time, at once ecstatic at the beauty of things, and chary of that ecstasy. The Japanese have a phrase for this dual perception: mono no aware. It means ‘beauty tinged with sadness,’ for there cannot be any real beauty without the indolic whiff of decay. For me, living is the same thing as dying, and loving is the same thing as losing, and this does not make me a madwoman; I believe it can make me better at living, and better at loving, and just possibly, better at seeing.” (414-415) Here’s a recent interview Sally Mann and her daughter (pictured in some of the controversial photographs discussed in the book) did with Charlie Rose. And here is a short, unrelated lesson from an ex-CIA agent on the art of being still enough to listen to your adversaries . . . and what you might hear.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Abby

    “Exploitation lies at the heart of every great portrait, and all of us know it.” Sally Mann has an unflinching gaze, which is perhaps a photographer’s most valuable asset. She doesn’t look away from anything, and this bold, occasionally discomfiting trait has served her well. I’ve always loved her work, and I sincerely enjoyed this creative, photo-illustrated memoir. Along with being a gifted photographer, Mann is also a skillful writer. She writes so well about her family, her loves, and her art “Exploitation lies at the heart of every great portrait, and all of us know it.” Sally Mann has an unflinching gaze, which is perhaps a photographer’s most valuable asset. She doesn’t look away from anything, and this bold, occasionally discomfiting trait has served her well. I’ve always loved her work, and I sincerely enjoyed this creative, photo-illustrated memoir. Along with being a gifted photographer, Mann is also a skillful writer. She writes so well about her family, her loves, and her art — particularly when defending herself against harsh and prudish critics. (I’d challenge all of the prudish critics to actually read Mann talking about her work before passing judgment.) She has had a crazy and fascinating life! What a family! It is ample fodder for a riveting family history. And as a fellow Virginian (and one who lives just an hour away from Mann), I resonated with so much of her love for and identification with this flawless rolling countryside, despite its darkness and deep, racist flaws. Recommended for artists, art lovers, and Virginians. “As for me, I see both the beauty and the dark side of things; the loveliness of cornfields and full sails, but the ruin as well. And I see them at the same time, at once ecstatic at the beauty of things, and chary of that ecstasy. The Japanese have a phrase for this dual perception: mono no aware. It means ‘beauty tinged with sadness,’ for there cannot be any real beauty without the indolic whiff of decay. For me, living is the same thing as dying, and loving is the same thing as losing, and this does not make me a madwoman; I believe it can make me better at living, and better at loving, and, just possibly, better at seeing.”

  12. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    Hold Still is the 9th book by photographer Sally Mann. It is in part memoir and part memoriam. Inspired by an invitation by Harvard University to deliver the prestigious Massey lectures, she finds herself rooting through the family attic. The Massey lectures herald a host of esteemed honorees that include Eudora Welty (1984), Toni Morrison (1992), Gore Vidal (1992), and E. L. Doctorow (2003). What Mann finds while in that attic shakes loose not only a proud heritage, but also historical fruit pi Hold Still is the 9th book by photographer Sally Mann. It is in part memoir and part memoriam. Inspired by an invitation by Harvard University to deliver the prestigious Massey lectures, she finds herself rooting through the family attic. The Massey lectures herald a host of esteemed honorees that include Eudora Welty (1984), Toni Morrison (1992), Gore Vidal (1992), and E. L. Doctorow (2003). What Mann finds while in that attic shakes loose not only a proud heritage, but also historical fruit pitted with seeds of drug trafficking, suicide and murder. These discoveries serve as the foundation for this celebrated work. “Photography would seem to preserve our past and make it invulnerable to the distortions of repeated memorial superimpositions, but I think that is a fallacy: photographs supplant and corrupt the past, all the while creating their own memories.” Sally Mann, Hold Still Among Sally Mann’s many accolades is being named “America’s Best Photographer” by Time magazine in 2001 despite the controversy that surrounded her 3rd photography collection, Immediate Family, at the time. In her defense Reynolds Price wrote: “Mann recorded a combination of spontaneous and carefully arranged moments of childhood repose and revealingly – sometimes unnervingly – imaginative play. What the outraged critics of her child nudes failed to grant was the patent devotion involved throughout the project and the delighted complicity of her son and daughters in so many of the solemn or playful events. No other collection of family photographs is remotely like it, in both its naked candor and the fervor of its maternal curiosity and care.”

  13. 4 out of 5

    Fred Forbes

    As a serious photographer I was drawn to this book since I was familiar with the controversy surrounding her photographs of her children enjoying life on their Virginia farm in the nude. Critics thought the poses of her young children were too suggestive which I thought was a bit ridiculous since the kids were far ahead of the age of even knowing what that means. At any rate, I was really impressed with the quality of the writing at the beginning, less so as the book moved on. I liked the format As a serious photographer I was drawn to this book since I was familiar with the controversy surrounding her photographs of her children enjoying life on their Virginia farm in the nude. Critics thought the poses of her young children were too suggestive which I thought was a bit ridiculous since the kids were far ahead of the age of even knowing what that means. At any rate, I was really impressed with the quality of the writing at the beginning, less so as the book moved on. I liked the format of her "fine art" works woven in with shots that come from the family album and thought it was an interesting way to tell her story. But, I know that the photographic industry has worked long and hard to eliminate the less desirable aspects of old time methods and cameras and lenses so when I find someone working with old equipment and techniques like "colloidal suspension" on glass plates and find the resulting work under exposed, low contrast,poorly focused, suffering severe vignetting, etc. and passed off as art, I tend to not be too impressed. But hey, what do I know, she's the one with the McArthur Genius grant! I find her preoccupation with death (evidently inherited from her physician father) a big turnoff and was not impressed with shots of rotting corpses on a body farm even if she did use the old timey artistic techniques to get thrm. It was interesting to read her analysis of these pictures and what she saw in the subject matter but it was not enough to convince me that it was a worthy subject. Aspects of her personal life were certainly different and interesting reading so I think this book will appeal to some, not to others but I think it certainly provides a different perspective on the world and how we develop psychologically.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    While Mann is a good writer, interesting person, and accomplished photographer, I found myself skimming to get through this. First of all, it didn't feel like a memoir, but an autobiography - it covers most of her life, as well as many accounts of other people (some of them having little or nothing to do with what she's writing about). It felt too extensive and broad, tedious at times. I wish she had been able to narrow the focus to a particular period of her life, or to her work, or her marriag While Mann is a good writer, interesting person, and accomplished photographer, I found myself skimming to get through this. First of all, it didn't feel like a memoir, but an autobiography - it covers most of her life, as well as many accounts of other people (some of them having little or nothing to do with what she's writing about). It felt too extensive and broad, tedious at times. I wish she had been able to narrow the focus to a particular period of her life, or to her work, or her marriage, or whatever... there was just too much here. I found myself asking repeatedly, "Why did she include THAT?", usually when she was name-dropping or going into some detail of her past that wouldn't interest anyone except members of her family or perhaps die-hard fans. 2.5 stars, don't recommend.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Aly Medina

    I absolutely adored this beautiful, poetically written book that covers so many different subjects. All should read it, as it does not simply appeal to photographers. This is a truly phenomenal read.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Didik

    Absolutely gorgeous. Intelligent. Insightful. Even the parts I found to be less engrossing I respect enormously.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Robert Blumenthal

    This is both a memoir and a book of photographs. It appears to be a lot longer than it is for much of it is photos. I had never heard of this photographer before, and I found both her photographs and her writing to be luminous. Actually, many of the photos were taken by other people (her dad, for instance), and because of the small size and graininess of the paper, it is hard to completely appreciate them. As I was reading I was inspired to put a couple of her books of photographs on hold at my This is both a memoir and a book of photographs. It appears to be a lot longer than it is for much of it is photos. I had never heard of this photographer before, and I found both her photographs and her writing to be luminous. Actually, many of the photos were taken by other people (her dad, for instance), and because of the small size and graininess of the paper, it is hard to completely appreciate them. As I was reading I was inspired to put a couple of her books of photographs on hold at my local library because I want to see them in larger form on glossier paper. One of her early collections of photographs became quite controversial for it included pictures of her young children naked. They were not erotic or sexual at all, but too many of our puritanical gatekeepers were offended (oh dear, I do declare!). This is an unusual memoir, for it is not linear but rather divided into different categories--a section on her mom, one on her dad, one on the Black woman who essentially raised her as a nanny and about racial relationships in the South, amongst others. The author was born and raised in Lexington, VA and has a deeply rooted love/hate relationship to the South. She was very rebellious when she was young and had parents who were not abusive but definitely detached. She has been happily married and has a very tight family. All of this is explored in detail in the book, as well as her feelings on art and our place in the world and the universe and, definitively, death. Her father was obsessed with death all his life, and it seems he passed this on to his daughter. Some of this memoir was a bit too detailed for my taste, especially on the subject of photography. However, the last 100 pages or so, the sections about her mom and dad, were extremely vivid and emotionally very satisfying. I became entranced by her description of her parents, especially of her dad and how she knew that he loved her without ever really physically or emotionally expressing it. This book, ultimately, is about love and family and what it does in shaping our lives.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Simone

    Honestly, I didn't really know anything about Sally Mann when I picked this off the Library New shelf, but I remembered Ann Patchett had said good things about it on her bookstore blog, and that was good enough for me to check it out of the library and give it a try. Here's what Patchett had to say specifically: "In Hold Still, Sally Mann demonstrates a talent for storytelling that rivals her talent for photography. The book is riveting, ravishing — diving deep into family history to find the or Honestly, I didn't really know anything about Sally Mann when I picked this off the Library New shelf, but I remembered Ann Patchett had said good things about it on her bookstore blog, and that was good enough for me to check it out of the library and give it a try. Here's what Patchett had to say specifically: "In Hold Still, Sally Mann demonstrates a talent for storytelling that rivals her talent for photography. The book is riveting, ravishing — diving deep into family history to find the origins of art. I couldn’t take my eyes off of it.” It's really good. It's about family, and art, and the South and I just couldn't put it down. I found the section on the family photographs she had taken, ones that caused some controversy in the 90s because her children were naked in a lot of them, seems almost quaint in a way compared to the stuff and images I see popular mommy blogs posting about their kids. Mann talks here a lot about the ways in which you can not force children to give you the images her children gave her - in a compelling section she shows the evolution of a photograph she was attempting to create of her son in a river, by showing us the shots that didn't work, and then finally the one that did. The photos she takes are so different than the ones that are popular now, the sort of white, bright super saturated instagam aesthetic, it's almost refreshing to see all that darkness and all that shadow. She also discusses how her children knew when she was behind the camera and they were in front of it that they were acting - a line that I don't think exists in the same way of some of the blogs I follow. She also talks a lot about memory and photography, which was interesting to hear coming from a photographer, illustrating I think the difference between an idea of 'art photography' and the constant capturing of our lives that's happening with our phones.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Tippy

    I LOVE this book. I'm a huge fan of Sally Mann's photographs & jumped at the chance to go when she did a reading at the Ogden in New Orleans. I had just gotten this book so it was perfect timing. It was really cool to hear her read, as I read the book I then heard it in her voice. It's funny, heartbreaking, interesting, and having lived in Virginia for 15 years, I loved hearing more about her part of Virginia (Lexington) and friendship w/ Cy Twombly (another favorite) who painted there for ma I LOVE this book. I'm a huge fan of Sally Mann's photographs & jumped at the chance to go when she did a reading at the Ogden in New Orleans. I had just gotten this book so it was perfect timing. It was really cool to hear her read, as I read the book I then heard it in her voice. It's funny, heartbreaking, interesting, and having lived in Virginia for 15 years, I loved hearing more about her part of Virginia (Lexington) and friendship w/ Cy Twombly (another favorite) who painted there for many years. She talks about her photography process over the years, which is fascinating. Also her family history, which is filled w/ scandal, world travel, troubled relationships, & more. She also discusses racial issues in the South which I think more people should talk about. She really discusses a variety of topics, as one's life is filled with, and she has an amazing vocabulary (mine is lacking). I learned many new words & kept my dictionary nearby, loved that! All in all, as I mentioned, I love this book, it's a great read & filled with inspiring stories, I would highly recommend.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Lauryi

    glad I read the book. It's kind of unbelievable that anyone has such an "interesting" cast of characters for their (and their spouse's) ancestors; that part was engrossing. Some of the book, though, was a little photography-technical heavy for me; I wasn't interested in those sections and I skimmed those parts. I'm sure those who know her for her photography would appreciate Mann's descriptions of it and the process of development. Maybe it's my eyesight, but I thought the pictures inside the bo glad I read the book. It's kind of unbelievable that anyone has such an "interesting" cast of characters for their (and their spouse's) ancestors; that part was engrossing. Some of the book, though, was a little photography-technical heavy for me; I wasn't interested in those sections and I skimmed those parts. I'm sure those who know her for her photography would appreciate Mann's descriptions of it and the process of development. Maybe it's my eyesight, but I thought the pictures inside the book could have been of much better quality. Many (and I'm not talking about the older ones) were difficult to see clearly. A book by a photographer should have had quality photos, in my opinion. I still was glad I read the book. I love memoirs and it's interesting to read about the characters that exist in this world.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Constance

    Sometimes wonderful and sometimes a slog. Maddeningly overwrought in parts. I know my opinion won't be popular. Sorry.

  22. 4 out of 5

    E has

    Although I only knew of Sally Mann because of her controversy in the early 2000s (people were upset that she photographed her children in the nude), this book uncovered a thoughtful, wonderful writer with an interesting history. I think I was hooked when she wrote in the introduction, I tend to agree with the theory that if you want to keep a memory pristine, you must not call upon it too often, for each time it is revisited, you alter it irrevocably, remembering not the original impression left Although I only knew of Sally Mann because of her controversy in the early 2000s (people were upset that she photographed her children in the nude), this book uncovered a thoughtful, wonderful writer with an interesting history. I think I was hooked when she wrote in the introduction, I tend to agree with the theory that if you want to keep a memory pristine, you must not call upon it too often, for each time it is revisited, you alter it irrevocably, remembering not the original impression left by experience but the last time you recalled it. With tiny differences creeping in at each cycle, the exercise of our memory does not bring us closer to the past but draws us farther away. I've been thinking this for years, but she said it much more eloquently than I ever could. Addressing first, the controversy that pretty much made her famous, then discussing her husband's lineage (she really did not like his parents), and then her own, interspersed with a ton of photos (both her own work and sometimes her father's) and handwritten notes, this sometimes felt like a scrapbook with really eloquent thoughts bookending the images. I found myself nodding along when she talked about being a creative: You wait for your eye to sort of "turn on," for the elements to fall into place and that ineffable rush to occur, a feeling of exultation when you look through that ground glass, counting ever so slowly, clenching teeth and whispering to Jessie to holdstillholdstillholdstill and just knowing that it will be good, that it is true. Like the one true sentence that Hemingway writes about in A Moveable Feast, that incubating purity and grace that happens, sometimes, when all the parts come together. There was one part where I didn't agree with Mann, though. She talked about how critics said her children looked "mean"; those same people said that she the artist was "manipulative, sick, twisted, vulgar." Even if I were all of those things, it should make no difference in the way the work is viewed... do we do deny the power of For Whom The Bell Tolls because its author was unspeakably cruel to his wives? Should we vilify Ezra Pound's Cantos because of its author's nutty political views?... If we only revere works made by those with whom we'd happily have our granny share a train compartment, we will have a paucity of art. I used to think this way too — I would admit to myself that Roman Polanski was a terrible human but oh how I loved The Pianist — but I think there are enough overlooked, kind creatives to take the place of the assholes now. Shove the jerks aside and diminish their art. If they can't live kindly in society, if they treat their families poorly, if they beat their wives, if they support fascists, fuck 'em, bye. That's my thought now. But for the rest of the book, she had a lot of interesting and insightful ideas — some of which she goes waaay back, like talking about three generations of ancestors ago, and how their influence steered her towards her many bodies of work. I also loved how a lot of this book was about her neighbor, Cy Twombly, who is probably a better-known art hero to me and therefore a super interesting component of Mann's memoirs. While she rambles at one point, and I thought it could've been edited a touch down, this was a solid book that I really appreciated from multiple standpoints.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Rae Meadows

    There was so much to like about this book, particularly if you are familiar with Sally Mann's photography. I love the mix of photos and writing she uses to tell her story. Some sections were stronger than others, though. I wish she would have used a sharper lens on race, and she tends to humble brag, which was off putting. I believe that most of this book was part of her Harvard lecture series and at times it felt too much like it was. But overall, a fascinating glimpse into the process of a gif There was so much to like about this book, particularly if you are familiar with Sally Mann's photography. I love the mix of photos and writing she uses to tell her story. Some sections were stronger than others, though. I wish she would have used a sharper lens on race, and she tends to humble brag, which was off putting. I believe that most of this book was part of her Harvard lecture series and at times it felt too much like it was. But overall, a fascinating glimpse into the process of a gifted photographer.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Scott

    I full-on loved more than half of famed (and imo very talented) photographer Sally Mann's memoir, was significantly less engaged with the other, less-than-half, but because it's not a consecutive thing (even within chapters I could drift in and out), you have to read the entirety of Hold Still to get to all the good parts. Not that the book's a slog, I just wish Mann had spent less time on her father and long-dead relatives and more time on her feelings, her personal experiences, and her creativ I full-on loved more than half of famed (and imo very talented) photographer Sally Mann's memoir, was significantly less engaged with the other, less-than-half, but because it's not a consecutive thing (even within chapters I could drift in and out), you have to read the entirety of Hold Still to get to all the good parts. Not that the book's a slog, I just wish Mann had spent less time on her father and long-dead relatives and more time on her feelings, her personal experiences, and her creative process. The parts I really enjoyed: * Mann on her beloved South, with its stunning landscapes filled with so many ghosts, and so much pain. I have a knee-jerk reaction to that region (basically ranging from deep suspicion to rage and disgust), but was genuinely moved by her love of place, and even its people. And just when I thought she wasn't going to talk about race (which would have been ridiculous) she launched into a lengthy, thoughtful, seemingly-honest exploration of what it meant to grow up white and privileged (by education, and to some extent money) in Virginia in the 1960s and 1970s. Though she did go to Putney and Bennington, so spent much of her formative years in Vermont. * Mann on her photography, particularly her Immediate Family work which featured lots of naked pictures of her children, earning her a ton of (unasked-for) notoriety in the early 1990s. She's interesting in general about her work, but I particularly loved when she walked us through the decision-making involved (and the many trial-and-error failures) behind a few of her most iconic shots. * Mann telling sometimes funny stories of her relatives and herself. This was more effective in getting across her character and personality than when she'd resort to broad declarations, repeated too often, about, for example, what a trouble-maker she was as a youth (she wasn't that bad). There are at least a hundred photographs tipped in throughout, which Mann uses well to complement or make her point. I read it on a Kindle though, which reproduces many of them terribly, so was glad that I was familiar enough with her work to get the point even when I couldn't really see the shot. Definitely would recommend going actual physical book with this one.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Louise

    Wanting to know the why of her “family pictures” I selected this book when I saw it on the library shelves. Not much light was shed on this, but I did come to appreciate Sally Mann as both a writer and a photographer with more depth than shown in the pictures that brought her fame. Using both her photography and literary skills, she has given us a portrait not only of her life, but also of life in the US across generations. Perhaps Mann’s gift as a writer was developed at Bennington College, or m Wanting to know the why of her “family pictures” I selected this book when I saw it on the library shelves. Not much light was shed on this, but I did come to appreciate Sally Mann as both a writer and a photographer with more depth than shown in the pictures that brought her fame. Using both her photography and literary skills, she has given us a portrait not only of her life, but also of life in the US across generations. Perhaps Mann’s gift as a writer was developed at Bennington College, or maybe it was in her genes as she suggests. For this memoir and genealogy (with photographs and reproduced memorabilia), she is assisted by forebears (and in-laws) with unusual stories. Because much of her story is about the south, there is a lot on race with the most engaging portrait (of many) being that of her nanny, Gee-Gee. As to the famous photographs, we learn of fan and hate mail, but little on why. She says her kids were willing participants and not only assisted in posing/compositions but also in other artistic decisions. She notes that her father’s atheism made her an outsider at school, as her art work most likely made her kids. Maybe there is a desire to shock since towards the end there is a chapter on the “Body Farm” where there are photographs and a narrative on decomposing bodies. The book is loaded with B & W photos, some hers, others her father’s (where she points out the eerie resemblance) others from a box found in an attic. Most, especially the landscapes, suffer from the book format and beg for a coffee table size volume. If you are interested in Sally Mann, this is a must read. I also recommend it for anyone interested in a compelling generational account of life in these United States. Mann is ultimate story teller, with some amazing stories to tell.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Caroline

    How to take a picture (with all the attempts printed, and chatted over), how to be Cy Twombly's neighbor, how to work, how to buy a farm, how to love. This is what all memoirs should be like. Her family history is so surprising, but never reads as tawdry. She always comes across as discreet. After all, she's mostly here to talk about work: "When I get asked what one piece of advice I have for young photographers, this is what I tell them: if you are working on a project, and you're thinking maybe How to take a picture (with all the attempts printed, and chatted over), how to be Cy Twombly's neighbor, how to work, how to buy a farm, how to love. This is what all memoirs should be like. Her family history is so surprising, but never reads as tawdry. She always comes across as discreet. After all, she's mostly here to talk about work: "When I get asked what one piece of advice I have for young photographers, this is what I tell them: if you are working on a project, and you're thinking maybe it's time to put it out into the world, make sure you have already started your next body of work. Not just started either: you should be well along on it. You will know that the first project is finished when you find yourself joylessly going through the motions to eke out a few more pictures while, like a forbidden lover, the new ones call seductively to you. This new lover should be irresistible, and when it calls, you will be in its urgent thrall, making the work of your heart."

  27. 5 out of 5

    Dave

    I wanted to rank this lower, because she's not very much like me. She comes from privilege, lives spartanly, likes horses, is fascinated by death, and has a very southern love of romantic prose. But this is an undeniably beautiful book in the way it's structured, written, illustrated, and thought about--the best family bio I've read since Fun Home. Her explorations of ancestral history and mementos blur gracefully into meditations on art, family members, mentors, friends, race and culture, work, I wanted to rank this lower, because she's not very much like me. She comes from privilege, lives spartanly, likes horses, is fascinated by death, and has a very southern love of romantic prose. But this is an undeniably beautiful book in the way it's structured, written, illustrated, and thought about--the best family bio I've read since Fun Home. Her explorations of ancestral history and mementos blur gracefully into meditations on art, family members, mentors, friends, race and culture, work, and the landscape. As a plus, you get a book of stunning photographs I only wish were larger. As a doubleplus, she hates talking art theory and likes to laugh at herself. By the end, I wished I were more like her.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Iva

    What a writer! Mann covers a lot of ground in this wonderful reading/viewing experience. She provides many books in one: there is, threaded throughout, her own view of her youth and adulthood as a southerner. Her family's history is fascinating and she provides many photos and expands on the most interesting aspects of it. She had Cy Twombley as a neighbor growing up and teachers who encouraged her creativity. There is, of course, her examination of the "scandal" caused by the publication of the What a writer! Mann covers a lot of ground in this wonderful reading/viewing experience. She provides many books in one: there is, threaded throughout, her own view of her youth and adulthood as a southerner. Her family's history is fascinating and she provides many photos and expands on the most interesting aspects of it. She had Cy Twombley as a neighbor growing up and teachers who encouraged her creativity. There is, of course, her examination of the "scandal" caused by the publication of the photos of her young children. But running all through is the beauty and importance of Lexington, Virginia in her life and her love of natural beauty. This is an examination of a life that will remain with a reader for a long time. (Terry Gross interviewed her on Fresh Air.)

  29. 5 out of 5

    Buried In Print

    Following Amazon's purchase of GoodReads, I no longer post my reviews here. If you would like to read my thoughts on this book, you can view them in the following places: BuriedInPrint LeafMarks BookLikes LibraryThing Posting these links does not constitute permission to duplicate these thoughts anywhere, including corporate-owned sites. If you read/liked/clicked through to see this review here on GR, many thanks.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth☮

    When I picked this book up, I wasn't completely familiar with Sally Mann's photography. But, I am always compelled to learn about the creative process and Mann does a great job of immersing the reader in her world of photography. Mann utilizes photographs, letters and other detritus of her childhood to tell her story. It is a unique way to tell a life story (in a book). We often point to the photographs in our lives that take place of memory, but here Mann explores the relationship between the tw When I picked this book up, I wasn't completely familiar with Sally Mann's photography. But, I am always compelled to learn about the creative process and Mann does a great job of immersing the reader in her world of photography. Mann utilizes photographs, letters and other detritus of her childhood to tell her story. It is a unique way to tell a life story (in a book). We often point to the photographs in our lives that take place of memory, but here Mann explores the relationship between the two. This book gave me many lessons about the South, race, family, photography and creativity.

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