Hold Still

A Memoir with Photographs
By Sally Mann (Hardcover Book, 2015)
A revealing and beautifully written memoir and family history from acclaimed photographer Sally Mann.

In this groundbreaking book, a unique interplay of narrative and image, Mann's preoccupation with family, race, mortality, and the storied landscape of the American South are revealed as almost genetically predetermined, written into her DNA by the family history that precedes her.

Sorting through boxes of family papers and yellowed photographs she finds more than she bargained for: "deceit and scandal, alcohol, domestic abuse, car crashes, bogeymen, clandestine affairs, dearly loved and disputed family land . . . racial complications, vast sums of money made and lost, the return of the prodigal son, and maybe even bloody murder."

In lyrical prose and startlingly revealing photographs, she crafts a totally original form of personal history that has the page-turning drama of a great novel but is firmly rooted in the fertile soil of her own life.
  • Little, Brown and Company
    • Format: Hardcover Book

    • Price: $32.00 US/$35.00 CAN

    • ISBN-13: 9780316247764

    • On Sale Date: 05/12/2015

    • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company

    • Imprint: Little, Brown and Company

    Formats Available: Hardcover Book, Electronic Book, Audiobook

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A revealing and beautifully written memoir and family history from acclaimed photographer Sally Mann.

In this groundbreaking book, a unique interplay of narrative and image, Mann's preoccupation with family, race, mortality, and the storied landscape of the American South are revealed as almost genetically predetermined, written into her DNA by the family history that precedes her.

Sorting through boxes of family papers and yellowed photographs she finds more than she bargained for: "deceit and scandal, alcohol, domestic abuse, car crashes, bogeymen, clandestine affairs, dearly loved and disputed family land . . . racial complications, vast sums of money made and lost, the return of the prodigal son, and maybe even bloody murder."

In lyrical prose and startlingly revealing photographs, she crafts a totally original form of personal history that has the page-turning drama of a great novel but is firmly rooted in the fertile soil of her own life.

A Guggenheim fellow and a three-time recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, Sally Mann was named "America's Best Photographer" by Time magazine in 2001. She has been the subject of two documentaries: Blood Ties (1994), which was nominated for an Academy Award, and What Remains (2007). Books of her photographs include At Twelve, Immediate Family, Deep South, and What Remains. She lives and works in Lexington, Virginia.


  • "In HOLD STILL, Sally Mann demonstrates a talent for storytelling that rivals her talent for photography. The book is riveting, ravishing -- diving deep into family history to find the origins of art. I couldn't take my eyes off of it." (author of Bel Canto and This is the Story of a Happy Marriage).

  • "Sally Mann's Hold Still is just like her pictures: forthright, adventurous, loving, fearless, beautiful, intimate, and somehow uncanny. That means it's probably just like her."

    ( author of Low Life and Kill All Your Darlings

    ).

  • "What I admire most about Sally Mann's new book is not her ability to write captivating sentences--she does. It's the honesty and fearlessness, the two mixed together, compelling her to own up to her mistakes, to acknowledge her winnings, to accept her losses (and those of her family). For this quality alone, Hold Still deserves a fixed place in the library of American memoir."

    ( author of Hemingway's Boat: Everything He Loved in Life, and Lost

    ).

  • "There has never been a book like this. At once a poetics of place, a work of deep history, a bildungsroman, and an acute inquiry into the big subjects: love, family, other animals, the nature of creativity. It is sublime. It's also very funny. Haunting and haunted, Hold Still is the memoir of an artist that is art itself." (author of The Place You Love is Gone).

  • "This spectacular modern memoir reads like a sweeping gothic novel, filled with mystery, violence, controversy, and, of course, love in all its forms. It is a literary family album enlivened by many of the images in the stories told. A Southern work, it is also universally accessible, as all of Sally Mann's work is, for she reaches deep into her ancestral headwaters and the twisted rivers of human remembrance. A triumph."

  • "Few photographers of any time or place have matched Sally Mann's steadiness of simple eyesight, her serene technical brilliance, and the clearly communicated eloquence she derives from her subjects, human and otherwise - subjects observed with an ardor that is all but indistinguishable from love." (Time).

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Product Details

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  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • Price: $32.00 US/$35.00 CAN
  • Pages: 448
  • Physical Dimensions: 6" x 9-1/4"
  • ISBN-13: 9780316247764
  • On Sale Date: 05/12/2015