Picks and Pans Review: Fathers and Daughters
In 1990, as her father, John, a psychoanalyst, neared his 80th birthday, photographer Mariana Cook sadly realized, "My best friend was aging. I became fascinated," she writes, "with every father and daughter. I was anxious to understand their feelings for each other and wondered if their experiences were similar or different from ours."
Cook, 39, has produced an exceptional book filled with creative and accomplished people. A few are famous (Gen. Colin L. Powell and his daughters Linda, an actress, and Annemarie, a TV-news production assistant). One is notorious (Claus von Bulow with daughter Cosima). There are authors (William Styron with his daughters Paola, a dancer, Alexandra, an actress, and Susanna, a filmmaker), artists, a retiring Supreme Court justice (Harry Blackmun and his daughter, Nancy, a clinical psychologist), a celebrated chef (Alice Waters and her father, Charles, a management consultant), a retired pipe fitter and a pair of father-daughter well diggers (D.W. Gearen and Darlyn Dugas, of DeQuincy, La.).
There is intelligence, humor and poise in their faces; sensitivity, thought and sometimes pain in their words—which accompany and amplify Cook's crisp, compelling and often radiant black-and-white portraits. Her book reaches toward the ideal, while recognizing, as she writes, "Each love has its own roots, its own destiny." (Chronicle, $35)