April 26th, 2009

A Picture Can Lie

Monday, June 9, 1997, 0640 hours

When I approached Joyce Carol Oates she looked at me with what appeared
to be apprehension. She was very thin and wide-eyed behind large glasses,
and I could imagine her trembling with an Ophelia-like vulnerability. The
slightest breeze might blow her away.

I asked her if she would mind if I were to photograph her during her
lecture. Would she be bothered by flash?

Oates looked to the side and said very softly that maybe that would be
distracting to the audience. I said I would not use flash then, because
I didn’t want to be disruptive. She said maybe I could take pictures of
her before she spoke. Right now would be all right.

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