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Editors’ Bookshelf

March 2024
1min read

In 1991 the photographer Peter Woloszynski spent his first night in America in Charleston, South Carolina. He found the town unexpectedly magnificent, and it inspired him to spend two years traveling through the South getting inside of and photographing antebellum houses still lived in by descendants of their original owners. In Under Live Oaks (Clarkson Potter, 304 pages, $40.00) he presents his eloquent pictures with an accompanying text by the writer Caroline Seebohm, who brings to life the slow decline of the homes and their occupants. The houses, she writes, are “monuments to an illusion, and all the stories ever told cannot in the end put back together the ‘stray pieces of the past.’ As in the poignant image of a parlor in Montgomery, Alabama, empty except for an old family portrait hanging in lonely splendor over the fireplace, the lifeblood of these places is gradually draining away.”

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