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  • Portrait of Zadie Smith
    Zadie Smith (White Teeth) is an English novelist who lives with her family in New York City and teaches creative writing at New York University.
  • Portrait of Louise Erdrich with dog
    Louise Erdrich (Love Medicine) lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota in a large, Victorian house. Here, she is on the back porch with her dog, Maki (Ojibwe for wolf).
  • Portrait of Michael Ondaatje in a cabin
    Michael Ondaatje (The English Patient) lives in Toronto, but spends part of each year writing at a simple table in a cabin on a remote Northern California ranch.

The Writers

Portraits by Laura Wilson

August 27, 2022 – January 1, 2023

Laura Wilson has photographed some of the most influential writers of our time. This exhibition of her work at the Ransom Center will feature a selection of her powerful portraits documenting highly accomplished, award-winning writers. Immersing herself in each writer's own personal setting, Wilson reveals the details that have inspired their literary masterworks.

The exhibition is drawn from her forthcoming book, The Writers: Portraits (Yale University Press, 2022). See stunning photographic portraits of J. M. Coetzee, Jim Crace, Rachel Cusk, Edwidge Danticat, Louise Erdrich, Carlos Fuentes, Gabriel García Márquez, Tim O'Brien, Zadie Smith, and Tom Stoppard, among many others. The papers of many of the writers portrayed are collected at the Ransom Center.

Laura Wilson's photographs have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, and London's Sunday Times Magazine, among others. She has published six books of photographs and text including Avedon at Work, Grit and Glory, That Day: Picture in the American West, and From Rodin to Plensa.

The exhibition is generously funded by the Marlene Nathan Meyerson Family Foundation, Richard Groenendyke, and David and Ellen Berman.

The Ransom Center appreciates the generosity of our promotional partners: CultureMap, KUT 90.5 & KUTX 98.9, and Society Texas.

National Endowment for the Humanities
Any views, findings, recommendations or conclusions expressed in this exhibition do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.