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Photo-Essay Review    



Heart of a Small Town
By Robin McDonald
Foreword by Robert Gamble
University of Alabama Press, 2003
Cloth $29.95 (160 pages)
126 color illustrations
ISBN: 0-8173-1375-3


Photographer Robin McDonald, who was born in London and currently makes Birmingham, Alabama his home, has selected photographs from his adopted home state and quotes from noted Alabama authors to create the lovely book Heart of a Small Town

Using images from Muscle Shoals, Selma, Marion, Monroeville, Athens, Somerville, Burnt Corn, Gainsville, Courtland, Demopolis, and other Alabama towns, McDonald records common objects -- sidewalks, storefront displays, kudzu, abandoned houses, screen doors, and church windows with a photographer's eye for the perfect detail. 

He's borrowed phrases from writers who've spent their lives writing about the South -- Truman Capote, Mary Ward Brown, Rick Bragg, Vicki Covington, James Agee, and others -- to reinforce the emotional intensity of the photographs. 

McDonald received his master's degree in art history from Columbia University. His artistic work has been honored with several awards including to from the New York Art Director's Club. 

Robert Gamble, author of Historic Architecture in Alabama: A Guide to Styles and Types, 1810 - 1930, is State Architectural Historian for the Alabama Historical Commission.

Pam Kingsbury
Southern Scribe Reviews

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