(from Issue Seven)
Writers have lost their place as cultural heroes. Instead, we celebrate a numbing parade of overpaid and undertalented actors, musicians, and athletes. Ridiculous amounts of money, publication real estate, and TV time are squandered to promote The Bachelors and the Kardashians and whoever will soon rise vapidly to take their place.
Writers don’t traditionally get such crass and ubiquitous promotion. But why can’t they at least try to compete with pop-culture stars on the same terms? Let’s promote novelists as sexy and fabulous! Insist that the PEN Award require a turn on the catwalk! Hold the National Book Awards on a sliver of sand populated by buxom models in horn-rimmed shades; let the champagne pop for the cameras, as Oxford tweed gets wet on Temptation Island!
The following portfolio is Canteen’s little push in that direction. We commissioned 16 lauded art photographers to shoot 16 brilliant authors. Each one offers a singular interpretation of fashion-magazine glam. And each writer responds to the question “What’s the hottest thing you’ve ever read?”
Crass? Of course. But in this business, being austere is deadly.
A tantalizing sample of photo outtakes and author responses:
T Cooper, as seen by Clayton Cotterell
Jennine Capó Crucet, as seen by Tierney Gearon
Porochista Khakpour, as seen by Sam Falls
Karan Mahajan, as seen by Boru O’Brien O’Connell
Tao Lin, as seen by Brea Souders
Stephen Elliott, as seen by Tabitha Soren
Michelle Tea, as seen by BJ and Richeille Formento
Follow Canteen on Twitter or bookmark this page to find out when each new hot author photo will be posted:
Deb Olin Unferth, as seen by Brian Shumway
Siddharth Dhanvant Shangvi, as seen by Manjari Sharma
Rivka Galchen, as seen by JJ Sulin
Julie Orringer, as seen by Matthew Porter
Rich Benjamin, as seen by Tribble & Mancenido
Fiona Maazel, as seen by Cara Phillips
Maud Casey, as seen by Alex Arzt
Jesse Ball, as seen by Aimee Beaubien
Brian Henry, as seen by Susan Worsham