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Aperture – Mary Ellen Mark (1999)


I published several books with Aperture : Twins (2003), American Odyssey (1999) and Streetwise (1988). Streetwise is important because it was at the time of Michael Hoffman. It was first published by University of Pennsylvania Press and then Michael saw the film we did with my husband Martin Bell and decided to publish the book. And he did. I loved working with Michael ! He was a controversial character because he was very eccentric but he was also a wonderful person. He was very intelligent and he knew exactly what he wanted. He had a great sense of how to do things and he was usually right. He was definitely innovative. Every time we had a disagreement it would be very extreme and we knew that’d be ok the next day. 
And then we published American Odyssey. Melissa was the editor and he didn’t push himself into the making of the book. But what was great about that book is that he really made sure that the book was promoted, and the book won the Erich Salomon Prize. He made it happen. I have only good memories working with Aperture, even after Michael died. Everything always went smoothly. I think that all of us are fortunate that Aperture exists. It’s not only the books, it’s the spirit, this devotion to photography.

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