Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Interesting Issues Raised

Finished June 3
Black & White by Dani Shapiro
Clara hasn't seen her mother in fourteen years when she left home at eighteen. Her mother Ruth is a famous photographer, most famous for a series she did of Clara. The series covered Clara from the age of 3 to 14, all of them naked. Clara has stayed in touch with her older sister Robin, who lives in New York City with her husband and three children and who has become a lawyer like their father. When Robin calls Clara to tell her Ruth is ill and Robin can't cope, Clara goes to New York and visits with her mother. Ruth is much more ill than Clara had expected, dying of lung cancer, but the issue of the photographs is still between them, and Clara still hasn't dealt with her feelings of hurt around them. As Clara, along with her husband and daughter deal with Ruth's dying they must also deal with the issue of the photographs.
Very interesting issue around the photographs and the rights of the mother and artist as opposed to those of Clara. We see the history of the photos, the public image and reactions, and the family dynamics around it all. There is a lot going on here emotionally to keep the reader interested.

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