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Foreword by Robert Hicks
Press kit for media and booksellers >>
John F. Blair, Publisher
ebook ISBN: 978-0-89587-598-3
8 x 10
April 2, 2013
Photography & Art
Porch Dogs combines fine-art portraits of man’s best friend with beautiful architectural documentation of the Southern porch.
Nell Dickerson fondly recalls childhood nights on the sleeping porch of her grandparents’ Mississippi Delta home—the sounds of katydids, cicadas, and tree frogs, the merciful breeze from the overhead fan. But during the heat of the day, the family sought refuge indoors, leaving the dog to his lonely vigil. “I felt like he understood that the porch was the gateway between inside and outside and that it was his duty to keep sentry there in case someone wanted to pass,” she recalls.
Years later, Dickerson noticed that few new homes had porches, their residents increasingly dependent on air conditioning. “We Southerners used to be social,” she notes. “Now, we risk losing what makes us Southern: porch sitting. But there is hope. Our dogs maintain the tradition.”
Dickerson weaves her passion for historic preservation—first detailed in her 2011 book, Gone: A Photographic Plea for Preservation—into a fun, uplifting photographic collection that perfectly captures a Southern tradition. Dickerson’s incomparable photographs introduce an unforgettable variety of “house dogs,” “yard dogs,” “shop dogs,” “swing dogs,” “bench dogs,” “top dogs,” “under dogs,” and “dock dogs.”
Whether they’re fans of photography or preservation, high art or humble canines, readers won’t be able to keep from smiling at the array of delightful portraits that reflect a former cultural pastime.
"There is the feel of an Edward Hopper painting about some of the photographs. Ms. Dickerson has captured the lonely guardians looking mournfully at the camera in front of abandoned buildings and it is almost as if the dogs are aware that they are the last of a dying breed. Other photographs evoke more surreal art; for example, a dog in the window of an art gallery has an air of disconcerting artificiality to it … These photographs are rooted in a place that is so obviously the southern United States, and they speak of a past grandeur and the homely comfort of open air living on the porch.”
—Declan O'Neill, New York Journal of Books
“I love this book and Nell Dickerson’s handsome photographs. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate and honor the love of dogs than through Nell’s lens.”
—From the foreword by Robert Hicks, author of Widow of the South
“Porch Dogs is one of the most endearing books on dogs I have seen in a long while. Nell Dickerson's photography is beautiful and charming. I enjoyed this book from beginning to end!”
—Temple Grandin, author of Animals in Translation and Animals Make Us Human
"A glorious celebration of how we lovingly imagine dogs to be."
—John Bradshaw, author of Dog Sense and In Defence of Dogs
“Nell Dickerson’s Porch Dogs is a wonderful tribute to two of the most endearing personalities in the culture of mankind—porches and dogs. Spending time turning its pages is a bit like taking a quiet and sweet journey to places of memory that rest comfortably in one’s soul.”
—Terry Kay, author of To Dance With the White Dog and The Book of Marie
Visit the author's website at NellDickerson.com and the author's blog at NellDickerson.blogspot.com.