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Ways of the Hand
A Photographer's Memoir
Ways of the Hand
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Bruce Jackson - Author
Excelsior Editions
Price: $24.95 
Paperback - 164 pages
Release Date: July 2022
ISBN13: 978-1-4384-8874-5



A visual and narrative memoir of a lifetime's encounters with 112 trendsetters, musicians, politicians, writers, and ordinary people by a noted folklorist-photographer.

Rocker Rod Stewart, Jackson says, had it wrong when he titled his breakthrough album Every Picture Tells a Story. Pictures don't tell stories—but many of them call to mind stories or have stories about their making.

Throughout his sixty-year career as folklorist, ethnographer, criminologist, filmmaker, and journalist, Bruce Jackson has taken photographs of family, friends, people he worked with, people he studied, and people he encountered. Ways of the Hand includes 112 of his favorite portraits, portraits in which the hands are often as expressive as the faces. In six sections, Jackson shares photographs of notable musicians, political figures, activists, actors, artists, and writers. These portraits are accompanied by stories of how and where they were taken and the stories they invoke or reflect. The result is a stunning visual and narrative memoir of a lifetime of encounters.

"Ways of the Hand: A Photographer's Memoir makes us wonder whether its author was born with a camera in his hand. Drawing on his Joycean eye for detail and his Faulknerian ear for the story, Bruce Jackson has created a journal that blends his photography and prose with special power. With his beloved wife Diane Christian at his side, Jackson introduces us to folksinger Pete Seeger, bluesman Lightnin' Hopkins, civil rights lawyer William Kunstler, poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko, and many more fascinating friends he has known over his lifetime. As we overhear their conversations, jokes, asides, and peer at their portraits, we marvel at how Jackson captures each person and shows how they made this world a far better place than they found it. Ways of the Hand is truly a book for the ages." — William Ferris, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

"Bruce Jackson, himself a great writer and photographer, puts those skills to work to introduce you to a wonderful collection of his fellow creators and their work." — Howard S. Becker, author of Art Worlds

Bruce Jackson is SUNY Distinguished Professor and the James Agee Professor of American Culture at the University at Buffalo, State University of New York. His numerous books include American Chartres: Buffalo's Waterfront Grain Elevators, also published by SUNY Press.

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