cover image H Chicks with Guns

H Chicks with Guns

Lindsay McCrum. Vendome, $45 (168p) ISBN 978-0-86565-275-0

McCrum’s portrait project is full of contradictions and complexity, of ironies and sublime beauty. Like its title, this book is an edgy collection of riveting women and their stories, told in their own words. Eugenie admits, “I have never lost my girly-girly side, and to this day, I still prefer to shoot wearing a skirt when possible.” There’s no pinning these women down to a single category. They are as diverse as the landscapes behind their portraits, as idiosyncratic as their reasons for loving their guns. It’s not that the book doesn’t tease out a certain regional style. Plenty of the Texas women stand in luxurious indoor spaces and wear gowns with their Rugers and Colts. The women in Montana prefer a backdrop of wide-open spaces. Virginia and Connecticut gun-toters seem to share an affinity for riding boots and trees. But for all the similarity in style or stance (and clear affection for their hobby), these women are full of surprises—and poetry. A distinguished South Carolinian named Lee speaks eloquently of hunting: “The first driven bird I shot was a cock jungle fowl, glorious flaming tail streaming behind him, driven by Sental beaters through one of the few remaining jungle patches in a rather remote Indian state.” The pairing of these stories with McCrum’s photographs makes this book absolutely seductive. (Oct.)