It’s What I Do: A Photographer’s Life of Love and War

Afghan Women - Lynsey Addario
Afghan Women – Lynsey Addario

IT’S WHAT I DO: A PHOTOGRAPHER’S LIFE OF LOVE AND WAR

Lynsey Addario

[Penguin Press]

Throughout her memoir, It’s What I Do, photojournalist Lynsey Addario reiterates the reason why she has risked her life – time and again – to capture images in the world’s most dangerous places. Her goal has been to bring awareness to the suffering of the most marginalized people, and to replace ignorance with understanding and compassion. Addario has paid special attention to the lives of women, using her gender to gain access to spaces forbidden to male journalists, photographing women’s hospitals in Afghanistan and women’s madrassas in Pakistan. While her writing style can stray towards cliché, Addario’s stories and two decades of photography bring nuance to areas that the Western media has often presented with broad brushstrokes. From Darfur to Syria, Addario is lucky to have survived when so many of her colleagues have fallen. Her memoir serves as an indictment of the freelance economy, where news organizations offer up small fees for photos that were paid for with blood.

Originally published in Shameless Magazine, 2015.

How Poetry Saved My Life

HOW POETRY SAVED MY LIFE: A HUSTLER’S MEMOIR
Amber Dawn
[Arsenal Pulp Press]

How Poetry Saved My Life book coverMidway through How Poetry Saved My Life, Amber Dawn’s memoir of her life as a sex worker, she recalls a client telling her “Now I feel human again.” A few pages later she asks “What would I pay to feel human again?” This collection of stories and poems is harrowing, taking readers on a journey from working class Fort Erie to Vancouver’s notorious “kiddie stroll,” and through the daily violence visited upon the women who make their living on the street. Finding solace in the generosity of her fellow sex workers, the warmth of the butches she takes as lovers, the poetry of Sylvia Plath, and the simple act of a kiss on the cheek, Amber Dawn tells us exactly what she paid to feel human again.

Originally published in Shameless Magazine, 2013.