6.) Sally Soamcs

their shoot confesses to enjoying the experience, ‘Sally had promised in advance to use naught but available light. She kept her word. Under the circumstances —- my fatigue. and her need to work by a window in a half-dark room I confess that I am taken with the result. We talked and she took photographs. and the media miasma must have passed out of me, for the result is agreeable to me. I look well-possessed of myself. even executive. and not without

humour, and that speaks of the photographer’s magic.’

Maybe it was the ego-sensitive way that she approached her subjects that made nearly all of them say yes (the only ‘no’ came from Milan Kundera). Mailer, famous for his dislike of journalists, even agreed to write the preface to her book after he received a long letter from Soamcs, explaining how The Naked and The Dead had been the first adult book she had read


Norman Mailer 1991

at the age of twelve, after secretly borrowing it from her father’s library.

Her preference for working with natural light, versatile black and white film and a 35mm camera means that every wrinkle and blemish is there on the faces that stare out of the pages. It is this refusal to compromise. to tell-it-like-it-is and to communicate with her subjects that gives the work such impact. Cl Writers is published by Andre Deutsch at £20.

The List 19 May-l Jun I995 9