cover image Voices in the Mirror

Voices in the Mirror

Gordon Parks, Jr., Author Nan A. Talese $22.95 (351p) ISBN 978-0-385-26698-7

Poor, jobless and hungry in Harlem in the early 1930s, Parks went on to achieve distinction as a photographer, film director, writer, poet, composer and painter. Born in a small Kansas town in 1912, he became the first black photographer at Life and Vogue, and later, Hollywood's first black director and screenwriter. His exhilarating, inspirational autobiography provides a searing view of what it's like to be black in America. Careening from the ``hate-drenched city'' of Washington, D.C., in the 1940s, to New York, ``that jungle of uncertainty,'' to postwar Paris, Rio and Birmingham, Ala., Parks sets down his impressions of civil rights and black power strugges, his encounter with Third World poverty and meetings with Eisenhower, Churchill, Malcolm X, Sugar Ray Robinson, Ingrid Bergman, to name a few. He is guarded and defensive in discussing his three marriages, but succeeds in drawing the reader into the peaks and anguish of his ``complex, transitory, bittersweet existence.'' Photos. (Nov.)