Synopses & Reviews
At once an incredible adventure narrative and a penetrating biographical portrait, Egan's book tells the remarkable untold story behind Edward Curtis's iconic photographs, following him throughout Indian country from desert to rainforest as he struggled to document the stories and rituals of more than eighty tribes. Even with the backing of Theodore Roosevelt and J.P. Morgan, it took tremendous perseverance. The undertaking changed him profoundly, from detached observer to outraged advocate. He would die penniless and unknown in Hollywood just a few years after publishing the last of his twenty volumes. But the charming rogue with the grade-school education had fulfilled his promise - his great adventure succeeded in creating one of America's most stunning cultural achievements.
Starred Review. "With a reporter's eye for detail, Egan delivers a gracefully written biography and adventure story." - Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. "Lucent prose illuminates a man obscured for years in history's shadows." - Kirkus Reviews
""David Drummond offers an able reading that carries the material well, with no false emotion or histrionics. He doesn't let his tone vary too widely, yet he imparts clear emotion on the subjects dear to Curtis himself, especially the treatment of the Nez Perce tribe of the Northwest. An accompanying PDF includes samples of Curtis's striking works, and his entire multivolume work on American Indians is available online."" - AudioFile MagazineStarred Review. A Best Nonfiction Book of 2012. ""With a reporter's eye for detail, Egan delivers a gracefully written biography and adventure story."" - Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. ""Lucent prose illuminates a man obscured for years in history's shadows."" - Kirkus Reviews
Starred review. ""Ace popular historian Egan makes Curtis' story frequently suspenseful, always gripping, and monumentally historic."" - Booklist
One of the ""100 Notable Books of 2012."" ""Timothy Egan offers a stirring and affectionate portrait of an underknown figure..."" - The New York Times
A Best Book of 2012 choice. - Amazon.com
""...Egan writes this fascinating biography with a compelling and occasionally creative narrative that challenges the age-old ratio of a picture's worth a thousand words. Egan somehow makes both more valuable."" - USA Today
Part of the Holiday Books Roundup. ""...[Timothy Egan] gracefully transforms the past into vivid scenes that employ all five senses. The result is an honest portrayal of a man obsessed with capturing the final days of this nation's first people."" - Star Tribune
""Egan calls Curtis' book a work of ""lasting merit."" The same can also easily be said for Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher."" - Seattle Times
""...a sweeping tale about two vanishing ways of life. The traditional lives of Native Americans were in eclipse, of course, but there was also the world in which Curtis made his way, amid Gilded Age tycoons and Edwardian adventurers, in the company of hale fellows setting off on long trips by rail and boat, when simple mistakes of navigation had far-ranging consequences."" - The Wall Street Journal
""Egan is particularly good at fleshing out lesser-known aspects of Curtis's life... This is a riveting biography of an American original."" - The Boston Globe
Famed photographer Edward Curtis's remarkable untold story from the Pulitzer winner, Timothy Egan.
About the Author
Timothy Egan is a Pulitzer Prize winning reporter and the author of six books, most recently The Big Burn, a New York Times bestseller and winner of the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award and the Washington State Book Award. His previous books include The Worst Hard Time, which won a National Book Award and was named a New York Times Editors' Choice. He is a third-generation Westerner and lives in Seattle.