Evidence of My Existence


From a leper colony in India to an American research station on the
Antarctic Peninsula, from the back rooms of the White House to the
battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan, Evidence of My Existence tells
a unique and riveting story of ...

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From a leper colony in India to an American research station on the
Antarctic Peninsula, from the back rooms of the White House to the
battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan, Evidence of My Existence tells
a unique and riveting story of seventeen years spent racing from one photo
assignment to the next. It is also a story of photojournalism and the
consequences of obsessive wanderlust.
When the book opens, Jim Lo Scalzo is a blur to his wife, her remarkable tolerance
wearing thin. She is heading to the hospital with her second miscarriage,
and Jim is heading to Baghdad to cover the American invasion of Iraq. He
hates himself for this—for not giving her a child, for deserting her when she so
obviously needs him, for being consumed by his job—but how to stop moving?
Sure, there have been some tough trips. He’s been spit on by Mennonites
in Missouri, by heroin addicts in Pakistan, and by the KKK in South Carolina.
He’s contracted hepatitis on the Navajo Nation, endured two bouts of amoebic
dysentery in India and Burma and four cases of giardia in Nepal, Peru, Afghanistan,
and Cuba. He’s been shot with rubber bullets in Seattle, knocked to
the ground by a water cannon in Quebec, and sprayed with more teargas than
he cares to recall. But photojournalism is his career, and travel is his compulsive
We follow Lo Scalzo through the maze of airports and crowds and countries as
he chases the career he has always wanted, struggles with his family problems,
and reveals the pleasures of a life singularly focused. For him, as for so many
photojournalists, it is always about the going.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Set against a backdrop of the most stunning settings the world has
to offer—from India to Antarctica—Evidence of My Existence
is an intimate and intricate exploration of ambition and the
difficult decisions artists are forced to make in search of a balance
between work, the love of work, and love itself. Jim Lo Scalzo
serves as a brilliant guide—by turns hilarious and heart-torn—
and has created a masterful memoir, an exquisite debut!” —Julianna Baggott, author of Which Brings Me to You and Compulsions of Silkworms and Bees

"This is what it's like to be a photojournalist living on the front lines of the best stories in the world. From Afghanistan to Alaska, Lo Scalzo captures the rush, the payoff and the personal sacrifice that comes with making great pictures. He's not only got a great eye for finding the shot, but a great ear for telling the tale."
—Brian Kelly, Editor of U.S. News & World Report

Library Journal

Photojournalists tell stories with pictures, imparting a unique view of an event, a personality, a landscape. Lo Scalzo, veteran staff photographer for U.S. News & World Report, offers his own stories of the world in this compelling memoir. He presents a visually written portfolio of select news events and his life's journey as shaped by his professional assignments. Each chapter is set in a different locale (e.g., Antarctica, Iraq), and Lo Scalzo explains how he uses visual images to capture the stories unfolding at these places. In each chapter, he also conveys bits of his personal life, such as his struggle to have a family while traveling so much for his job, and examines his search for a balance between his compulsive need to travel and to create (or "make" pictures). What makes this memoir distinct is how it interweaves written snapshots detailing his personal journey, an insider's look into the field of photojournalism, a study of the creative process, and a descriptive travelog. Curiously, though, missing from the book are Lo Scalzo's photographs. He explains in the author's note that he and his publisher decided that the format and paper for this book were not suitable for reprinting photography. Instead, he invites the reader to views the pictures at the book's web site. Still, the work would have been even more impressive with the inclusion of his artistically rendered images. For all libraries.
—Donna Marie Smith

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780821417737
  • Publisher: Ohio University Press
  • Publication date: 10/8/2007
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 312
  • Product dimensions: 5.25 (w) x 8.25 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Jim Lo Scalzo, a Washington DC native, has been
a staff photographer with U.S. News & World Report
since 1994. He has had assignments in more than
sixty countries and won numerous awards in the
Pictures of the Year International and White House
News Photographers’ Association photo competitions.

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