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When two old friends died unexpectedly, Rick Schatzberg spent the next two years photographing the remaining group of a dozen men. Now in their 67th year, they have been close since early childhood. Schatzberg collected vintage photos that tell the story of this shared history and uses them to introduce each individual as they are today. These are paired with large-format portraits which connect the boy to the man. Mixing in text with these images, Schatzberg depicts friendship, aging, loss, and memory as the group arrives at the threshold of old age.
The Boys juxtaposes elements of place, personal history, and identity. The people and locale described are a specific product of the mid-20th-century suburban American landscape, but the book’s themes are radically universal.
Rick Schatzberg is a photographer and writer living in Brooklyn, New York and Norfolk, Connecticut. He received his MFA in Photography from the University of Hartford in 2018. Rick holds a degree from Columbia University in Anthropology (1978), played French horn with Cecil Taylor’s jazz ensemble in 1970s, and was a business executive and entrepreneur in the New York metropolitan area for many years. In 2015 he completed a one-year certificate program at the International Center of Photography. In the same year, his first monograph, Twenty Two North (self-published), was awarded first prize at Australia’s Ballarat Foto International Biennale.
Rick Moody is the author of six novels (Garden State, The Ice Storm, Purple America, The Diviners, The Four Fingers of Death, and Hotels of North America), three collections of stories (The Ring of Brightest Angels Around Heaven, Demonology, and Right Livelihoods), two memoirs (The Black Veil and The Long Accomplishment), and a collection of essays, On Celestial Music. His novel, The Ice Storm, was adapted for film by director Ang Lee, and won the award for best screenplay at the Cannes International Film Festival. His short fiction and essays have appeared widely, including in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Guardian, Le Monde, Harper’s, The Atlantic, The Paris Review, etc.
“Defiant as well as poignant” – Sean O’Hagan, The Guardian
“The Boys is a genius book, profoundly moving in the way it holds up past and present simultaneously and lets us consider them both in the same moment” – W. Scott Olsen, Frames Magazine
“Schatzberg’s intimate and honest photos of these men are not only about what they will mean now, but also about what they will mean later.” – Rick Moody, Literary Hub