A Planetary Gift Idea
Sierra Club Books' critically acclaimed 1994 best-seller, Material World: A Global Family Portrait, provided a compelling look at 30 "statistically average" families from around the world, photographed in front of their homes with all their possessions. But television producer Faith D'Aluisio, who assisted with the book, noted that all too often the lives of the women were eclipsed by those of the men. So she and Material World author Peter Menzel launched a follow-up, Women in the Material World, published this fall by Sierra Club Books.
D'Aluisio and an all-female team of photojournalists and interpreters returned to 20 of the original 30 families to focus on the women. The women featured not only posed for the camera, they revealed their thoughts and feelings about family, children, money, love, sex and marriage to the interviewers.
Participating families were receptive to this follow-up project, said D'Aluisio, but the husbands were leery in some cases -- not just because of the focus on their wives, but because the project members were all women -- and the photographers sometimes had to pay attention to the men first so they wouldn't feel ignored.
In the book's foreword, author Naomi Wolf addresses the condition of women described in the book: "If culture were to reflect what is really important globally, this is what it would look like. You need dynamite to blow apart the last vestiges of repressive stereotypes of women. This is it."
Women in the Material World, by Faith D'Aluisio and Peter Menzel, Sierra Club Books, $35 cloth. Distributed by Random House. Available in bookstores or by direct mail (please add $6 for shipping) from: Sierra Club Books
85 Second St., Second Floor
San Francisco, CA 94105
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