Half in Shade

Family, Photography, and Fate
Author(s): Judith Kitchen
Original Publish Date: Mar 23, 2012
Product Number: EB00646062
Released: Mar 11, 2016
Business Term: Purchase
ISBN: #9781566893060
Publisher: Coffee House Press
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A treasure trove of lost family photos illuminates a singular perspective on family, memory, and history in this hypnotically enjoyable memoir. When Judith Kitchen came across boxes of family photos in her mother's closet, the discovery sparked curiosity and speculation. "Over a ten-year period, Kitchen worked on Half in Shade, trying to come to terms with an inherited collection of family memorabilia that enlightened as much as it confused. . . . Most compelling is her attempt to find out the things she does not know but suspects about her mother, including an unexpected romance" (BookSlut). Piecing together her memories with the physical evidence in the photos, Kitchen explores the gray areas between the present and the past, family and self, certainty and uncertainty. The result is "part memoir, part speculation, part essay" (Stuart Dybek). Half in Shade is a lyrical, ennobling anatomy of a heritage and a family; of mother-daughter relationships, and recovery from illness. It is a voyage of memory that captures with precision the forces of the heart and mind when "none of us knows what lies beyond the moment, outside the frame." "Kitchen's book lets you know what a keen eye coupled with an alert and sensitive intelligence can see." —Publishers Weekly "Kitchen's collaboration with the past serves as a reminder that we of the twenty-first century are neither the first nor the last to know heartbreak. Rather, we are simply one more snapshot in the collage of humanity—half-blurry proof that none of us are ever truly forgotten." —LA Review "Behind the beautiful language Kitchen employs and the poignant moments she unearths, it's the theme of life's instability that resonates most." —Brooklyn Rail "Half in Shade is well worth the read. Together with the photographs, it offers an entertaining, quirky, and sometimes profound trip down memory lane—even if the lane is not your own." —TriQuarterly Review "Half in Shade: Family, Photography, and Fate, takes an intensive look at the intent behind 20th-century photography in general, with specific reflections on what any photo can tell us. . . . It can leave even the least nostalgic of readers wishing they had paid more attention." —The Quivering Pen

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