Friday, January 28, 2011

In Love and Wha?

On my other blog on documentary photography I've been focused on photojournalism as a subject. So, lately, all of my reading has consisted of books written by photojournalists. I guess, if you think about it, that's not a great idea.

I mean, take people who are good at making pictures and ... have them write. Hmm.

That said, books about photojournalism don't have to be entirely about, you know, taking pictures. Sure, some photojournalists really consider that the important part. But if you want to sell some books, you might want to, you know, include other details.

Like, the specifics of your sex life.

Now, not everyone will be happy about that. You might get a mixed review here or there.

For example, here is Janet Reitman's review of Shutterbabe: Adventures in Love and War, the latest book I've finished reading.

Bang-bang girl
Perhaps the first "cowgirl" memoir was Leslie Cockburn's "Looking for Trouble," a reflection of her highs (and occasional lows) over 25 years as a foreign correspondent and television producer. While filled with amusing insights, Cockburn's book, with chapter heads such as "Dinner With Drug Lords" and "Lunch With the Ayatollahs," rubbed many critics the wrong way. It suggested a blue-blood Yale graduate waltzing around war zones in designer bush-wear.

Now comes "Shutterbabe: Adventures in Love and War," Deborah Copaken Kogan's memoir about her life as a roving war photographer. It's an unfortunate title, but I was willing to give the book a shot given how rare young female war photographers are -- let alone those who write about the experience. Alas, "Shutterbabe" is not so much a cowgirl memoir as a "bang-bang" memoir: a self-aggrandizing story of the lusts and yearnings of a bored, post-feminist bad girl with a hankering to "see war."

Now that you know ... read it anyway.

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