Learning to See (Paperback)
A Novel of Dorothea Lange, the Woman Who Revealed the Real America
William Morrow Paperbacks, 9780062686534, 384pp.
Publication Date: January 22, 2019
“Written with grace, empathy, and bright imagination, Learning to See gives us the vivid interior life of a remarkably resilient woman. Dorothea Lange’s story is about passion and art, love and family, but also about the sacrifices women make—and have always made—to illuminate the truth of the world.” —Danya Kukafka, national bestselling author of Girl in Snow
Learning to See is a gripping account of the Dorothea Lange, the woman behind the camera who risked everything for art, activism, and love. …
In 1918, a fearless twenty-two-year old arrives in bohemian San Francisco from the Northeast, determined to make her own way as an independent woman. Renaming herself Dorothea Lange she is soon the celebrated owner of the city’s most prestigious and stylish portrait studio and wife of the talented but volatile painter, Maynard Dixon.
By the early 1930s, as America’s economy collapses, her marriage founders and Dorothea must find ways to support her two young sons single-handedly. Determined to expose the horrific conditions of the nation’s poor, she takes to the road with her camera, creating images that inspire, reform, and define the era. And when the United States enters World War II, Dorothea chooses to confront another injustice—the incarceration of thousands of innocent Japanese Americans.
At a time when women were supposed to keep the home fires burning, Dorothea Lange, creator of the most iconic photographs of the 20th century, dares to be different. But her choices came at a steep price…
About the Author
A New Englander by birth (and at heart), Elise lives with her husband and two young daughters in Seattle, where she teaches history and literature. The Other Alcott was her first novel.
Praise For Learning to See: A Novel of Dorothea Lange, the Woman Who Revealed the Real America…
— Publishers Weekly
“A fascinating and sometimes surprising introduction to a woman known for her iconic photographs but not her eventful life.”
— Library Journal
“Elise Hooper’s Dorothea Lange is magnetic!...This is a winning novel from the first page.”
— Devin Murphy, national bestselling author of The Boat Runner and Tiny Americans
“Written with grace, empathy, and bright imagination, LEARNING TO SEE gives us the vivid interior life of a remarkably resilient woman. Dorothea Lange’s story is about passion and art, love and family, but also about the sacrifices women make—and have always made—to illuminate the truth of the world.”
— Danya Kukafka, National Bestselling author of Girl in Snow
“A powerful and timely view of America told through the lens of Dorothea Lange, a fascinating woman whose photographs shone a light on the nation’s forgotten and abandoned...Detailed and thoroughly immersive, Learning to See grips the reader and highlights an important period in American history.”
— Chanel Cleeton, author of Next Year in Havana
“Her adventures illuminate the world of intrepid female artists in the late 1800s, a milieu too little appreciated today [...] The Other Alcott comes alive in its development of the relationship between Louisa and May.”
— New York Times, Sunday Review of Books
“More than ever, we need books like this – in celebration of a woman overlooked by history, one whose story helps shed light on our own contemporary search for love, identity and meaning.”
— Tara Conklin, New York Times bestselling author of The House Girl
“To read this book is to understand why the women behind Little Women continue to cast a long shadow over our imaginations and dreams. Hooper is a writer to watch!”
— Elisabeth Egan, author of A Window Opens