Trim size: 266.700mm x 215.900mm
Pub Date: 03/15/2001
List Price: $36.95
One afternoon in the fall of 1979 photographer Vaughn Sills set out from Athens, Georgia, with a load of camera equipment, a tape recorder, and a caring spirit, seeking a family in a setting that would "call" to her. Running across a settlement of simple frame houses "that seemed to belong" on a country road near town, Sills parked her truck, walked in unannounced, and commenced a twenty-year collaboration with the extended Toole clan that One Family so lovingly documents.
From the thousands of images taken over the years on their front porches and in their homes and yards, Sills has selected 143 portraits documenting the daily lives of four generations of this large southern family and combined them with interviews, correspondence, and the heartfelt poems of Tina Toole Truelove. The resulting book is an artful mix of vivid images richly contextualized by Sills's own passionately held cultural and artistic values. One Family captures the essence, the individuality, and the mystery of this vital extended family in today's rural South.
A very strong and compelling book, one that will make a sound contribution to photography, cultural studies, documentary studies, and regional studies.
—Tom Rankin, Executive Director, Center for Documentary Studies, Duke University
These 143 black-and-white images, chosen by Sills from the thousands she took, show the Tooles coping with their impoverished existence in dilapidated homes, porches, and yards. The photographs, mainly taken with a Polaroid camera, are accompanied by the subjects' own tape-recorded comments, including one family member's intimate thoughts expressed in touchingly simple poetry. . . . Her book is an honest portrayal of daily life in the present-day rural South, seen through the life of a single family.