Closer to Home: The Author and the Author Portrait

Terence Byrnes
With photographs by Terence Byrnes


Closer to Home: The Author and the Author Portrait fixes its gaze on writers as we seldom see them. These photographs, and the stories that accompany them, were captured where the writers live, work, or play. The result is a series of portraits that take us inside writers' lives and inside the process of making portraits-all served with a touch of refined literary gossip.These are writers unplugged. Not from their word processors but from centuries of visual cliché.Through his own work as a writer, editor, and photographer, Terence Byrnes came to know and to photograph writers at every stage of their careers. For ten years, he photographed them in places where they felt at home, but not always at ease. "Most contemporary literary portraits," Byrnes says, "are as highly burnished as Playboy nudes or as homespun as family snapshots. When I made these images, I was an interloper the writers had to react to."In an introductory essay, Byrnes takes a fascinating tour through the history of the author portrait, from the seventh-century scribe, Ezra, to the contemporary literary agency that warns potential clients that their author portrait, not their writing, is the most important career decision they will ever make.

2008

Reviews


"There is wisdom in this last book, as always, for Ralph was an infinitely wise poet. Yet finally it is the lonely heart which predominates, by itself as the heart always must be, contemplating life and death and solitude, in love but ultimately unrequited, and beautifully articulate." —Bruce Whiteman

Terence Byrnes is internationally known as a fine art photographer as well as a writer. His literary portraits have appeared worldwide, and their distinctive look is becoming a new hallmark for the visual representation of Canadian writers.
Hardback
142 pp 9" x 10.25"
ISBN13: 9781550652505

CDN $59.95
US & International
US $59.95

Trade paperback
70
180 pp 9" x 10.25"
ISBN13: 9781550652482

CDN $29.95
US & International
US $29.95