The First Look

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Grappling head-on with America's "hidden killer," The First Look presents direct statements from breast cancer survivors together with photographs of their postsurgery bodies. This powerful volume counters the fear of the unknown by providing concrete information on what breast cancer survival looks and feels like.

Amelia Davis's bold photographs equip those facing surgery with real information on what to expect, on reconstructive options, and on lymphedema, a frequent result of...

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Overview

Grappling head-on with America's "hidden killer," The First Look presents direct statements from breast cancer survivors together with photographs of their postsurgery bodies. This powerful volume counters the fear of the unknown by providing concrete information on what breast cancer survival looks and feels like.

Amelia Davis's bold photographs equip those facing surgery with real information on what to expect, on reconstructive options, and on lymphedema, a frequent result of mastectomy. This essential book also provides companions-in-arms for newcomers to the battle against cancer. Behind each photograph, behind each story is a woman who triumphed. Their "battle wounds" serve as reminders of the resilience of the female spirit and as symbols of survival, perseverance, and strength.

A diverse portrait of renewal, regeneration, and most of all reality, The First Look presents mothers, grandmothers, wives, and daughters ranging in age from twenty-five to seventy-six. Some have undergone reconstructive surgery or been fitted with prostheses; some have not. All have struggled with cancer's wide-ranging impact on their bodies, their relationships, and their daily lives.

"Posing for this book . . . is sort of like 'coming out,'" a twenty-eight-year-old subject of this book reports. By taking a stand to make breast cancer visible rather than hidden, The First Look affirms the human body as an art form, not only as it was created, but also as it is reshaped in the course of a life.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
San Francisco-based photographer Davis, whose mother had breast cancer, felt that women who had faced surgery and the loss of their breast should be given a forum to express feelings about the experience and a means for others to see what they themselves saw upon their "first look" at a postmastectomy body. The pride and determination of these women are evident in the postures and body language of each headless figure. The words vary from elegant to simplistic, erudite to crude, while the photos run the gamut as well, from perfectly reconstructed breasts to unbelievable scars and emptiness. Some of these photos are inspiring; others will make you gasp and wail. A fine chapter on reconstruction and a brief discussion of lymphedema by, respectively, a plastic surgeon and a nurse who is the founder of the National Lymphedema Network, round out this slim volume. These portraits are not as artistic as those in Winged Victory: Altered Images (Photographic Gallery of Fine Art Bks., 1996), and the contributions are not as stirring as those in Art.Rage.Us (LJ 7/98), but the photographs in The First Look will have the most impact. No one who sees them will remain unmoved. For all libraries. Bette-Lee Fox, "Library Journal" Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780252026027
  • Publisher: University of Illinois Press
  • Publication date: 9/14/2000
  • Pages: 112
  • Product dimensions: 10.96 (w) x 8.38 (h) x 0.44 (d)

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