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Family Portraits in Changing Times

Family Portraits in Changing Times

by Helen Nestor, Judith Stacey (Designed by)

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Nestor, who began photographing nontraditional families in the 1970s, decided in 1988 to show how the traditional American family unit--breadwinner father, homemaker mother, two children--was being replaced by a variety of new arrangements. Her 30 black-and-white family portraits are an eloquent plea for tolerance, suggesting the ordinariness of love in a family with a gay father who is not married to the mother; the not-yet-resolved tension between a single mother and her grown daughter; the acceptance within a large Quaker family of several adoptees from Vietnam and Korea; and the bridge two interracial children apparently form between their white father and black mother. Most of the people photographed contribute brief descriptions of their lives. The book is sometimes confusing because Nestor's definition of the nontraditional family is so broad: readers may find that a black family in which the husband took early retirement and works at home is more ``traditional'' than a family in which both parents have cerebral palsy and use wheelchairs. Nestor could have improved the book had she addressed the relative differences in societal stress faced by her subjects. (Oct.)
Library Journal
Although only two finished photographs of the some 33 families visited in this work were available at review time, it is apparent that photographer Nestor has created a book that is visually as well as intellectually interesting. Her project, documenting the experiences and nurturing concerns of parents in many different kinds of nontraditional family arrangements, combines fine photography with short personal essays (often poignant) by the people whose lives are here briefly exposed. It's a fascinating and ultimately thought-provoking volume that will probably appeal the most to the general socially interested reader; however, professionals involved with children and their caregivers will find the stories' messages very relevant to the planning and decision making they must do. For most social science collections.-- Suzanne W. Wood, SUNY Coll. of Technology, Alfred
School Library Journal
YA-- Outstanding, honest first-person sketches of 32 nontraditional American families. Nestor published a collection of photographs featuring 40 families in the 1970s, and in 1988 she revisited them to see how they had fared. Many had disintegrated, divorced, broken up, regrouped, moved to distant places, or disappeared. Nine from that volume appear in this book and additional families have been included. These artful photographic essays document the diversity of contemporary lifestyles. The book belongs in every library that serves young adults.-- Mike Printz, Topeka West High School, KS

Product Details

NewSage Press, LLC
Publication date:
Edition description:
1st ed
Product dimensions:
9.07(w) x 12.03(h) x 0.48(d)

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