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Book of the Week: A Pick by Melanie McWhorter


Book of the Week Book of the Week: A Pick by Melanie McWhorter Melanie McWhorter selects When I Was Six by Phillip Toledano as Book of the Week.
When I Was Six  by Phillip Toledano. Dewi Lewis, 2015.
This week's Book of the Week pick comes from Melanie McWhorter who has selected When I Was Six by Phillip Toledano published by Dewi Lewis.

"Phillip Toledano’s sister Claudia passed away when he was six. This new book published by Dewi Lewis is the exploration of the boxed archive left by his mother and father. Soon after his sister died at the extremely early age of nine, Toledano’s parents did not speak of her very often if at all. Toledano was allowed to grow into a man with a large hole in his home.

The book quietly celebrates childhood while considering the immense loss that parents and siblings feel when a family member is gone. Toledano’s writes about his memories of childhood and his photographs show Claudia’s stuff: a ceramic giraffe, an inscribed pencil, and numerous brightly colored drawings. Toledano photographs the found objects in the daytime in light that recedes across the page, reminding us of the passing of the day into night. The ephemera of her life are separated by pale olive green glossy pages and full page spreads of images of clouds, sky, space: a connection to the solace Toledano found in his childhood interest in astronomy. His story is personal yet evokes an emotion connection felt by anyone who has had a mother, father, sibling or child. What his parents collected and left for Phillip was the trove of delightful and thoughtful girl.

When I Was Six is Toledano’s 'unboxing, both literal, and metaphorical. Of Claudia'"—Melanie McWhorter

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When I Was Six  by Phillip Toledano. Dewi Lewis, 2015.
When I Was Six  by Phillip Toledano. Dewi Lewis, 2015.

Melanie McWhorter has managed photo-eye's Book Division for 17 years and is a contributor to the photo-eye Blog. She has been interviewed about photography in numerous print and online publications including PDN, The Picture Show and LayFlat, has judged the prestigious photography competitions Women Photojournalists of Washington's Annual Exhibition and Fotografia: Fotofestival di Roma's Book Prize, has reviewed portfolios at Fotografia, Photolucida, Review Santa Fe and PhotoNOLA, and taught and lectured at numerous venues.


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