New Books: Chris Hondros' Testament, Mariette Pathy Allen's TransCuba and More

© Chris Hondros

By Chris Hondros powerHouse $45

Before his death in 2011 in Libya at age 41, Hondros was one of the most daring and prolific war photojournalists in the Getty Images stable. Yet what permeates this collection of his work is its humanity. Hondros depicts glimpses of heroism amid chaos and hope among ruins—dramatic reminders that people are people, whatever their plight. His gift for storytelling matches his deft eye. “Great photography requires steadiness of hand and heart,” he writes. “Very often the window to take an important picture is only open for a fraction of a second.” Time and time again, he finds it.

Thousands Still Displaced As Recovery Efforts Continue In Haiti
PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI - JANUARY 25: United Nations peacekeepers from Uruguay tend to pregnant Haitian woman who lost consciousness in a massive crowd during a rice distribution for earthquake-displaced Haitians in front of the National Palace January 25, 2010 in cental Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Life in Haiti is transitioning to a new normal nearly two weeks after a powerful earthquake delivered historic damage and death to Port-au-Prince. (Photo by Chris Hondros/Getty Images)© Chris Hondros, published by powerHouse Books

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TransCuba

By Mariette Pathy Allen Daylight $45

The transgender subjects in Allen’s portrait series blend bravery and beauty: They defiantly express their femininity in the macho society of Cuba, where, until recently, their very existence was outlawed, and many show remarkable pulchritude and panache. In candid images and interviews, Allen’s subjects also reveal domestic contentment with their partners and families, livelihoods far removed from the traditional sex trade, and an openness that indicates changing times in the Raúl Castro era. “Going beyond Cuba,” writes Allen, “I want the rest of the world to end transphobia and homophobia, to stop violence and discrimination based on gender identity and expression and sexual orientation.”

© Mariette Pathy Allen

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The New Forty-Niners

By Sarina Finkelstein Kehrer Verlag $50

More than 160 years after the Gold Rush of 1849, Finkelstein discovers a new breed of gold prospectors in the hills of California—not unlike the old one. Rugged, determined, scraggly, and stoic, they camp in the woods and scour the streams in search of elusive gold specimens. “It’s that first big nugget that creates the addiction,” says a prospector named Chris. “It’s all about the digging, the work, the search,” says Martin (pictured at far left). Finkelstein’s four-year study reveals the miners’ gorgeous surroundings, their tribal gathering sites, and their survivalism: “people on the edge,” she writes, “plunging into the wilds to make their own way like the Niners of the past.”

© Sarina Finkelstein
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