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Vivian
Vivian | Christina Hesselholdt
6 posts | 3 read | 6 to read
In her new novel, Christina Hesselholdt delves into the world of the enigmatic American photographer, Vivian Maier (1926-2009), whose unique photographic body of work only reached the public by chance. On the surface, Vivian Maier lived a quiet life as a loving, firm and feisty nanny for wealthy families in Chicago and New York. But throughout four decades, she took more than 150,000 photos, mainly with Rollieflex cameras. The pictures were only discovered in an auction shortly before she died, impoverished and feasibly very lonely. In a time when self-obsession and representation are at an all-time high, Vivian Maier holds a particular fascination. Who was this eccentric person? And why did she not try to make a living from her art? InVivian, a chorus of voices, including Vivian's own, address these questions. We watch Vivian grow up in a severely dysfunctional family in New York and Champsaur in France, and we follow her as a nanny in Chicago and as a photographer on the streets of these American cities and in rural France. The novel comprises multiple voices: Vivian's, her mother's, one of the children she looked after and her parents. And crucially, the voice of the inquisitive narrator, who pulls the threads together and asks Vivian prying questions.
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review
charl08
Vivian | Christina Hesselholdt
Mehso-so

Somewhere between WTH? and Meh.

TrishB I like the new category. 1y
charl08 @TrishB Is WTMeh or MehTH better? 1y
ChaoticMissAdventures @charl08 😆😆 I love this. 1y
rabbitprincess I vote for “WTMeh” 😂 1y
41 likes4 comments
quote
charl08
Vivian | Christina Hesselholdt
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Vivian takes Ellen with her to Grant Park to photograph the protestors, but Ellen gets so scared of the police and the large crowds - 'Can you get shot buying ice cream?- that they have to return home.
From that day:
Officers lined up
A small sharp-featured woman, elegant as a silhouette, teasing an officer with no appreciation for it
Pigs kill (graffiti on a wall)
Young protestors...

charl08 Photo by Maier. 1y
39 likes1 comment
quote
charl08
Vivian | Christina Hesselholdt
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"The Kodak Girl,' I said to her.

Narrator

Here he was referring to the series of women and girls who had since the late nineteenth century been used to advertise Kodak, thus illustrating that Kodak cameras were so easy to use that even women could work them, and pandering to the female user of Kodak, who was depicted free as a bird in the wild...

blurb
charl08
Vivian | Christina Hesselholdt
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Next up for book club.

37 likes1 stack add
blurb
Emu
Vivian | Christina Hesselholdt
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Just started this. Not sure what I think of it so far. The narrator shifts very often which is confusing. #femaleauthors #readingdanish

review
ReadingEnvy
Vivian | Christina Hesselholdt
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Pickpick

Another book to cram into Women In Translation month - Vivian is translated from the Danish. I remember hearing about this American photographer whose work was largely discovered posthumously. Hesselholdt imagines her story from various points of view, allowing Vivian to be hoarder, artist, caregiver, sister, daughter, and friend.

RealBooks4ever Oh, I saw a documentary on her. It was fascinating! If only she had shown her work to the world... 💜 3y
andrew61 Gosh, new to me, now will have to hunt it down as sounds like a great read. 3y
ReadingEnvy @RealBooks4ever I saw that too! In some ways it was weird to read a translated book about her because she was an American! 3y
ReadingEnvy @andrew61 she's fascinating 3y
63 likes6 stack adds4 comments