Sunday, March 03, 2013

Dorothea Lange's Migrant Mother Inspires Novel

NPR discusses the new book, Mary Coin.

From the piece...

I feared that Silver's novel might be "colorized," too, punching up its account of the meeting between Lange and Thompson and, in particular, sanctifying Thompson's maternal ordeal, to make the story appealing to women's book clubs across the land. But curiosity trumped cynicism, especially since Lange's photograph, even in this altered form, always commands attention. What I found is that, far from romanticizing the suffering of the Great Depression, Silver stares at it hard, square in the face, just as Lange must have done that March day in 1936 when, on assignment for the federal Farm Security Administration, she drove into the migrant workers camp, took six photos of Thompson and her children and then drove away.

Silver is an evocative, precise writer, and her story — really interlocking tales — takes readers deep into the callous realities of life during the Dirty '30s.

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