As part of its “Booked for Lunch” reading group series, the Wilton Historical Society is hosting an upcoming lunchtime discussion of Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher: The Epic Life and Immortal Photographs of Edward Curtis by Timothy Egan.
The “Booked for Lunch” group will meet at the Wilton Historical Society (224 Danbury Rd.) on Tuesday, June 7 from 12–1:30 p.m. The event is a brown bag lunch, with the Society providing beverages and a dessert, and all are welcome.
The Booked for Lunch group focuses on reading books with a historical bent.
Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher is a compelling story about Edward Curtis, a dashing, charismatic, passionate mountaineer; a famous photographer; the Annie Leibowitz of his time. And he was thirty-two years old in 1900 when he gave it all up to pursue his great idea: He would try to capture on film the Native American nation before it disappeared. At once an incredible adventure narrative and a penetrating biographical portrait, Egan’s book tells the remarkable untold story behind 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, six years alone to convince the Hopi to allow him into their Snake Dance ceremony. 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.
Timothy Egan is also the author of The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl, a winner of the National Book Award for Non-Fiction.
There is no charge, but participants are asked to register for this program. Register via email or call 203.762.7257.