Edward Curtis aimed his lens and showed the world another truth, a clear vision of Native Americans. He aimed and shot showing us an old woman, the daughter of a Chief, living in squalor taunted by rock throwing white boys south of Seattle. His photography was art, his pictures just as powerful as any painting. Curtis changed public perception of Native Americans, not so many years after official practices that could be called genocide; He showed us a culture and a people deserving respect. Curtis lived rough, traveling far and wide, across a land he loved, to capture ceremonies and customs before they were lost. Egan pays homage to the man and his quest.
— Deon Stonehouse
How a lone man’s epic obsession led to one of America’s greatest cultural treasures: Prize-winning writer Timothy Egan tells the riveting, cinematic story behind the most famous photographs in Native American history -- and the driven, brilliant man who made them.
"In this hauntingly beautiful book, Egan brings Curtis to life as vividly and with as much depth, heart and understanding as Curtis himself put into his timeless portraits. This is a story for the ages." --Candice Millard, author of The River of Doubt and Destiny of the Republic "Short Nights is not only the marvelous and rollicking account of life of one of America's extraordinary photographers. It is also a book about the extreme personal cost of outsized ambition. Edward Curtis undertook one of the most epic cultural projects in American history--photographing and documenting the vanishing ways of life of some eighty American Indian tribes. It cost him almost everything he once was. And still he persisted, turning out some of the greatest photographic and ethnological work ever done. Egan has found yet another great subject, and has crafted yet another great narrative around it." -- S.C. Gwynne, author of Empire of the Summer Moon Edward Curtis’s hauntingly beautiful photographs have graced gallery walls and coffee tables for generations—and his work remains essential to our conception of the American West. Now, in this extraordinary biography, Tim Egan has deftly captured the man behind the images, revealing a great American adventurer who lived at the fragile, fertile intersection of history, anthropology, and art. --Hampton Sides, author of Blood and Thunder