Finalist for the Foreword Magazine 2003 Book of the Year Award in the category of Photography. Finalist for the 2003 Ben Franklin Award in the category of Design.
Synopses & Reviews
The essence of San Francisco is its people. On doorsteps, in cafes and on sidewalks, Bert Katz listened to the dreamers, the eccentrics, the intellectuals, the comedians, the lovers and the loners of the City by the Bay reflect with intimate candor on their lives. And When I Dream: Faces in San Francisco
juxtaposes these true stories as told by the people who call San Francisco home with photographs that come alive at each turn of the page.
And When I Dream is a celebration of life and its myriad emotions, of how we are all essential to the human experiment; it guarantees that you will never look at a stranger the same way again. And When I Dream coaxes our eyes open, awakens our hearts and enlightens our souls.
"This extraordinary book matches portraits shot on the streets of San
Francisco with short interviews. These are human stories and casual, sad
pictures. Families, jobs, love, dreams: These are the things Katz's
subjects talk about. It's the details that get me: blueberry stains,
teardrop tattoos, apple schnapps, frozen waffles. Katz is a listener;
his subjects speak of life." Jeff Stark, Salon.com
"San Francisco is a city of enchanting, pixieish, benighted, dramatic, romantic, ambitious, laid-back, daring, cautious, free-thinking souls who together give the city a character unlike any other in the United States. In striking portraits and candid interviews Bert Katz captures all the variations of that character in a book that, once opened, cannot be closed until every word is read and every photo studied." Stuart H. Loory, University of Missouri, Lee Hills Chair in Free Press Studies, Journalist and author of CNN Reports: Seven Days that Shook the World
"Bert Katz has captured the slippery soul of San Francisco. And When I Dream is an urban scrapbook, Ellis Island on paper." Dan Briody has written for Rolling Stone, Red Herring, and Forbes
"I was interviewing Federico Fellini when the great director stopped me cold: 'There are no grotesque faces in my pictures,' the Italian legend said. 'You Americans are conditioned by Hollywood into viewing only bland, inoffensive humanity as reality, when that isn't reality at all.' It took me many years and now Bert Katz' extraordinary And When I Dream: Faces in San Francisco, to appreciate Fellini's reprimand: Katz' jarring collection of vivid photographs and soulful stories masquerades as cocktail-table entertainment before it hits us between the eyes with the force of a commando raid. This is powerful material, with the photographs and biographies offering the texture of tough, compact but sometimes lyrical novellas." John Huddy, a former Miami Herald critic, has produced and directed film and TV projects for Fox, CBS News, NBC Entertainment, Tri-Star and Paramount.
"And When I Dream is peopled with immigrants, doctors, clowns, former dominatrixes, and boys and girls next door. Many of the images aren't technically remarkable, but what they lack in formal beauty they make up in content....the arresting color photographs of Dream are accompanied by poetic biographies, told in the models' own words....Katz goes beyond "type" to find out what makes each individual tick." San Francisco Weekly
Reading Group Guide
1. Which person's story stood out most to you in And When I Dream: Faces in San Francisco
? Which story did you most identify with? Did the stories that most strongly affected you come from people with backgrounds and viewpoints similar to your own? What effect did these particular stories have on you?
2. What themes seem to appear throughout And When I Dream? What similarities did you identify throughout the book? Are these commonalities wide-spread throughout all of humanity?
3. What role does San Francisco play in And When I Dream? What is it about San Francisco that attracts these particular types of people? Could Bert Katz have achieved the same results in any other city? In any other country? Discuss your thoughts about the setting of Bert Katz's book.
4. If you were hosting a dinner party and could invite four of the people from And When I Dream, which ones would you choose? What topics would you like to discuss with your guests? Which two people would be least likely to receive an invitation from you? Why?
5. Bert Katz captured the spirit of each person's life on a single page in And When I Dream. If you were to tell your story to Bert, how would it read? Do you think that readers would find your life interesting?
6. Bert Katz respects the power of the oral tradition in And When I Dream. A large degree of the power of each individual's story derives from the particular words they choose to express themselves. Would And When I Dream have a different feel if it was told though Bert Katz's words instead of the person's own voice?
7. Does And When I Dream change the way you look at strangers? Do you notice more similarities or differences between you and the people you pass on the streets each day? Do you agree with the statement "there are no strangers"?
8. Pick a stranger and invent a life for them. Tell or write what circumstances brought them to where they are today. What kind of tragedies and triumphs, opportunities and setbacks have they experienced in this lifetime? Be creative.
9. Museum curators have observed over the years that visitors spend more time reading the placard for a piece of artwork than they do actually looking at the piece itself. Did you focus more on the portraits or the stories? Which were you initially drawn to in And When I Dream? Did your process change as you continued through the book? Discuss the juxtaposition of photographs with texts.
10. The title of And When I Dream was taken from a phrase in Edward's story. How does the title of And When I Dream strike you? What are your own dreams like? Have your dreams in life changed with the passing of time?
11. If Bert Katz had approached you in a café or on a sidewalk, how comfortable would you have been sharing your own story? How open could you have been with someone you had just met? Would you be comfortable sharing your own story in And When I Dream?
12. "The Picture Man" shares his own story in the book. What is your perception of Bert Katz after experiencing And When I Dream? What type of person do you think he must be in order to persuade these people to share their lives with him?