By Ken Light (Photographer) and Suzanne Donovan (Contributor)
Texas Death Row
By Ken Light (Photographer) and
Suzanne Donovan (Contributor)
Amazon.com talks to Ken Light
Amazon.com: How did you begin writing? Did you intend to become an author, or do you have a specific reason or reasons for writing each book?
K.L.: I have been photographing social issue for over twenty-five years.I had always hoped that my work would be in book form as this is one of the major ways that my concerns and ideas can enter the world.
This book on Texas Death Row has been an amzing and sometimes overwhelming experience to enter the world of the living dead. To meet inmates who have done horrible things, but their story must be told and seen.
Amazon.com: What authors do you like to read? What book or books have had a strong influence on you or your writing?
K.L.: I like to look at the work of numerous photographers. They include Dorothea Lange, Walker Evans,W. Eugene Smith, Helen Levitt, and numerous contemporary image makers like MaryEllen Mark, Eugene Richards, Sebastiao Salgado, Danny Lyon the list could go on forever.
Amazon.com: Could you describe the mundane details of writing: How many hours a day do you devote to writing? Do you write a draft on paper or at a keyboard (typewriter or computer)? Do you have a favorite location or time of day (or night) for writing? What do you
do to avoid - or seek!--distractions?
K.L.: As a photographer the work is much different then writing. I spent 3 weeks inside Death Row. This was very intense and focused. I needed to work with out stoping for hours on end. Each week I visited I would shoot about 150 rolls of 35mm film. My eye was constantly looking and seeing. After 3 weeks I have 400 rolls of film and months of developing and editing to hone thek down to what is in
Amazon.com: Do you meet your readers at book signings, conventions, or similar events? Do you interact with your readers electronically through e-mail or other online forums?
K.L.: I have met readers often at book signings, show openings, lecturing, and electronically via e-mail through my web site and also on line forums.
Amazon.com: When and how did you get started on the Net? Do you read any newsgroups such as rec.arts.books and rec.arts.sf.written, mailing lists, or other on-line forums? Do you use the Net for research - or is it just another time sink? Are you able to communicate with other
writers or people you work with over the Net?
K.L.: My work has been on the net for quite some time in various organized photo sites. On MSNBC, MOJO Wire,ZoneZero and on Site which is where my home page is. This is another way of people seeing my work. I do e-mail with clients, friends and folks who have seen my work on a daily basis.
A EXCELLENT BOOK AGAINST GOVERNMENT ORGANISED MURDER
Review by firstname.lastname@example.org from Melbourne Australia. , May 13, 1998
In Australia the last man to be excuted was Ronald Ryan in Pentridge prison, 1968 in Melbourne. He was innocent and they killed him anyway.
Today they still kill prisoners and call it sucide. Texas Death row gives society a look at the condemed people who are really victums themselves of a society which offers no future. I have always been against capital punishment and this book confirms my beliefs.
As one of the convicts Thomas Miller-El wrote in his interview "Its really amazing that such sadistic method are totally well and alive anywhere within a high tech society. Yet this savagery is constantly
growing and is systematically a part of this countries politically correct methods of behaviour."
It is a important critical review of US society. Capitalism should be put to death not people who have the IQ of mentally retarted and drug addicts. I am not saying people should not be punished for crimes, but
killing prisoners doesnot prevent crime it just avoids a solution which the governments do not have.
It is the same issue with guns.
A very important book which should be read by everyone to raise the level of intellectual thinking of the public opinion.