WALKER EVANS by Thomas Nau


Photographer of America
Age Range: 12 & up
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Nau presents the life and times of photographer Walker Evans, who first found widespread recognition with his photos for James Agee’s Let Us Now Praise Famous Men. As a young man, Evans felt compelled to photograph indigenous American culture: people on the street, buildings in disrepair, signs and images that represented the real America, not a contrived, studio version. The photographs Nau includes are arresting and in some cases iconic, such as the portrait of Louise Burroughs from Famous Men, popularized as the cover for Karen Hesse’s Out of the Dust. Unfortunately, the text doesn’t match the photos for originality. Its straightforward recitation of the chronology of Evans’s life fails to ignite the reader’s imagination. Nevertheless, it succeeds in conveying the intellectual and social environment that nurtured Evans and his unwavering artistic vision—for that reason, it’s an important document. (source notes, bibliography, chronology, index) (Nonfiction. 12+)

Pub Date: April 1st, 2007
ISBN: 1-59643-225-X
Page count: 64pp
Publisher: Roaring Brook
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 2007