Life, the universe and letterpress
I once gave a conf paper on the public image of Joyce Carol Oates, and it included a discussion about how her author photos hadn't changed for over thirty years. However, I see that her wikipedia page has an up-to-date photo and... well... let's say it suits the gothic content of a lot of her writing.
I found one of the older ones here.
Wow. I can sort of see why she kept the same one for years. I feel sorry for writing types who look odd in front of a camera. I get irritated that publishing houses seems to go crazy for photogenic authors, regardless of their writing skills. I bet that if you're good-looking and you attach a photo of yourself on your unsolicited MS, you've got a better chance of making it to the top of the pile!Helen Garner, while not a bad-looking person, doesn't take a good photo. The front of the Good Weekend magazine a couple of weekends ago had a photo of her which roused a number of readers to protest about it, saying it was unflattering. But nearly ALL of her photos are unflattering, which must just compound her dislike of having them taken. Having said that, the photo of her on the back flap of The Spare Room is very nice.
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