An Emergency in Slow Motion by William Todd Schultz
The Inner Life of Diane Arbus

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Diane Arbus was one of the most brilliant and revered photographers in the history of American art. Her portraits, in stark black and white, seemed to reveal the psychological truths of their subjects. But after she committed suicide at the age of 48, the presumed chaos and darkness of her own inner life became, for many viewers, inextricable from her work.

In the spirit of Janet Malcolm's classic examination of Sylvia Plath, The Silent Woman, William Todd Schultz's An Emergency in Slow Motion reveals the creative and personal struggles of Diane Arbus. Schultz, an expert in personality psychology, veers from traditional biography to look at Arbus's life through the prism of five central mysteries: her childhood, her outcast affinity, her sexuality, her time in therapy, and her suicide. He seeks not to give Arbus some definitive diagnosis, but to ponder some of the private motives behind her public works and acts. In this approach, Schultz not only goes deeper into her life than any previous writing, but provides a template to think about the creative life in general.

Schultz's careful analysis is informed, in part, by the recent release of Arbus's writing by her estate, as well as interviews with Arbus's last therapist. An Emergency in Slow Motion combines new revelations and breathtaking insights into a must-read psychobiography about a monumental artist -- the first new look at Arbus in 25 years.

About William Todd Schultz

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William Todd Schultz is a professor of psychology at Pacific University in Oregon, focusing on personality research and psychobiography. He edited and contributed to the groundbreaking Handbook of Psychobiography, and curates the book series Inner Lives, analyses of significant artists and political figures. His own book in the series, Tiny Terror, examines the life of Truman Capote. Todd Schultz blogs for Psychology Today.
Published September 6, 2011 by Bloomsbury USA. 256 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Humor & Entertainment, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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1st, 2011 ISBN: 978-1-60819-519-0 Page count: 256pp ...

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Publishers Weekly

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Schultz's biography of the talented, deeply troubled photographer Diane Arbus, who committed suicide in 1971, takes the form of an ambitious "psychobiography"—an account of Arbus's inner life in which he regards her photographs through the lens of psychological theory to speculate on her motiva...

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The Telegraph

There are three images I took from this psychobiography of photographer Diane Arbus, and none of them were hers.

Oct 11 2011 | Read Full Review of An Emergency in Slow Motion: ...

The Sydney Morning Herald

AN EMERGENCY IN SLOW MOTION: THE INNER LIFE OF DIANE ARBUS By William Todd Schultz Bloomsbury, $35 FORTY years after her death, the power of Diane Arbus' photography to provoke controversy continues undiminished.

Jan 28 2012 | Read Full Review of An Emergency in Slow Motion: ...

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