From the moment you encounter the lenticular cover -- which magically morphs back and forth from the image of an eight year old boy in 1984, to the image of the grown man he’s become in 2005 -- the experience of The Oxford Project is utterly unique. Through image and word, it tells the extraordinary story of one seemingly ordinary American town, as it was twenty years ago, and as it is today. The Project first began in 1984, when Peter Feldstein managed to photograph all but six people living in Oxford, Iowa (pop 676). Two decades later, Feldstein did it again. Considered side by side, the resulting “then & now” portraits reveal the startling and subtle ways that people both change and remain the same over the course of a generation. The second time around, the residents of Oxford did more than just pose -- they talked. About their pasts, their dreams, their losses, and their secrets. One by one, they shared their most personal feelings and memories with award-winning narrative journalist and professor from University of Iowa, Stephen G. Bloom.The result is a stunning collection of the faces and stories that make up one small community in rural Iowa, but who we discover could just as well be from any place in America. In these time-lapse transformations and intimate disclosures of strangers, we recognize fragments of our own reflection. As Bloom eloquently writes in his introduction: "They remind us of what we dreamed we’d become, and what we turned out to be."Amazon has picked The Oxford Project as one of the Ten Best Photography Books of 2008, and it’s also made both NPR’s “Booksellers’ Recommendations” and “Best Gift Book” holiday lists. Filmmaker Ken Burns describes The Oxford Project as "a marvelous way to get at 'who we are' as a people. This powerful confessional book draws its strength from the truth that so-called ordinary people, not those with bold-faced names, are actually the heroes of our American drama." An unprecedented work of narrative and photographic journalism, The Oxford Project is a stunning portrait of the human spirit. Please join Brazos for an evening with writer Stephen Bloom, in celebration of his book. (booksense)
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