Bohemians
by Darznik, Jasmin






Celebrating the life and career of photographer Dorothea Lange, this novel explores the wild years in San Francisco that awakened her career-defining grit, compassion and daring.





Jasmin Darznik's debut novel, Song of a Captive Bird, was a New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice, a Los Angeles Times bestseller, longlisted for the Center for Fiction Prize, and awarded the Writers' Center's First Novel Prize. Jasmin is also the author of the New York Times bestseller The Good Daughter: A Memoir of My Mother's Hidden Life. Her books have been published in seventeen countries and her essays have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and Lenny Letter, among others. She has been featured on NPR and The New York Times, Newsweek, The Atlantic, Los Angeles Review, Shondaland, Ms., and Vogue. Jasmin was born in Tehran, Iran, and came to America when she was five years old. She holds an MFA in fiction from Bennington College and a PhD in English from Princeton University. Now a professor of English and creative writing at California College of the Arts, she lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her family.





In 1918, Dorothea Lange arrives in San Francisco, alone and penniless. Chinese American Caroline Lee rescues Dorrie, helping her find a footing in the bohemian artist colony Monkey Block and launch herself as a photographer. Most are familiar with Lange's heart-wrenching Depression-era photography. This is her origin story, an exploration of a portraitist learning to truly see people and show them to others through photography. Darznik's second biographical novel, following Song of a Captive Bird (2018), succeeds on all levels. Foremost is the unknown life of the "Chinese Mission Girl" (as newspapers called her) and her relationship with Lange. Lange's background-her upbringing, devastation by polio, and painful marriage-and the effect on her photography is likewise engrossing. The third leg of the tripod is San Francisco, still recovering from the earthquake and fire of 1906. Modern echoes abound in a city under a pall of economic turmoil and racial disharmony advanced by politicians for their own ends as well as the global influenza pandemic. Darznik has created an arresting portrait of two women set before an illuminating backdrop. Lange would be proud. Copyright 2021 Booklist Reviews.





In 1918, Dorothea Lange arrives in San Francisco, alone and penniless. Chinese American Caroline Lee rescues Dorrie, helping her find a footing in the bohemian artist colony Monkey Block and launch herself as a photographer. Most are familiar with Lange's heart-wrenching Depression-era photography. This is her origin story, an exploration of a portraitist learning to truly see people and show them to others through photography. Darznik's second biographical novel, following Song of a Captive Bird (2018), succeeds on all levels. Foremost is the unknown life of the "Chinese Mission Girl" (as newspapers called her) and her relationship with Lange. Lange's background-her upbringing, devastation by polio, and painful marriage-and the effect on her photography is likewise engrossing. The third leg of the tripod is San Francisco, still recovering from the earthquake and fire of 1906. Modern echoes abound in a city under a pall of economic turmoil and racial disharmony advanced by politicians for their own ends as well as the global influenza pandemic. Darznik has created an arresting portrait of two women set before an illuminating backdrop. Lange would be proud. Copyright 2021 Booklist Reviews.





A captivating novel based on the life of photographer Dorothea Lange, who earned lasting recognition for her poignant Depression era images. Dorothea Lange springs to life-from her beginnings as a portrait photographer for the rich and famous to the calling she is most known for today, photographing the struggles of families during the Depression. Dorrie, 23, moves from New York to San Francisco in 1918, anxious to start a new life, but her vision of a bright future quickly fades. Upon arrival, she is robbed of her money. Stranded at the train station, she meets Caroline Lee, a beautiful young Chinese woman who later introduces her to female photographers within an artists' colony who encourage her to set up a portrait studio. Caroline is fictional, but she is a strong character in her own right, facing the world with courage and determination. Dorrie faces discrimination for her gender; Caroline more so for her race. They are inseparable until a brutal event pushes Caroline to isolate herself. Dorrie's marriage to famed artist Maynard Dixon creates a conflict for her as she tries to balance her creative needs with those of her family and forces choices that lead her to find her true passion. She loses touch with Caroline for decades until she's driven to seek her out. Darznik, with a keen eye to history, weaves real artists and historic events into an engaging story of struggle and success. Though the book is set more than 100 years ago, it feels powerfully contemporary: Men return from the battlefields of World War I to reclaim their jobs and positions in society. The Spanish flu arrives on the West Coast, forcing businesses to fold and people to quarantine. Politicians rail against foreigners; raids take place across the city. Strong, well-portrayed female characters propel this intriguing tale. A powerful novel about a woman who shuns convention to follow her passion. Copyright Kirkus 2021 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.






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