Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher-9780544102767

Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher: The Epic Life and Immortal Photographs of Edward Curtis

by Timothy Egan
$15.95
Call 855.969.4642 to place an order

How a lone man’s epic obsession led to one of America’s greatest cultural treasures: Prize-winning writer Timothy Egan tells the riveting, cinematic story behind the most famous photographs in Native American history — and the driven, brilliant man who made them.


  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN-13/EAN: 9780544102767
  • ISBN-10: 0544102762
  • Pages: 384
  • Publication Date: 08/06/2013
  • Carton Quantity: 24

About the book

“A vivid exploration of one man's lifelong obsession with an idea . . . Egan’s spirited biography might just bring [Curtis] the recognition that eluded him in life.” — Washington Post

Edward Curtis was charismatic, handsome, a passionate mountaineer, and a famous portrait photographer, the Annie Leibovitz of his time. He moved in rarefied circles, a friend to presidents, vaudeville stars, leading thinkers. But when he was thirty-two years old, in 1900, he gave it all up to pursue his Great Idea: to capture on film the continent’s original inhabitants before the old ways disappeared.

Curtis spent the next three decades documenting the stories and rituals of more than eighty North American tribes. It took tremendous perseverance — ten years alone to persuade the Hopi to allow him to observe their Snake Dance ceremony. And the undertaking changed him profoundly, from detached observer to outraged advocate. Curtis would amass more than 40,000 photographs and 10,000 audio recordings, and he is credited with making the first narrative documentary film. In the process, the charming rogue with the grade school education created the most definitive archive of the American Indian.

“A darn good yarn. Egan is a muscular storyteller and his book is a rollicking page-turner with a colorfully drawn hero.” — San Francisco Chronicle

"A riveting biography of an American original." – Boston Globe

About the author
Timothy Egan

TIMOTHY EGAN is a Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter, a New York Times columnist, winner of the Andrew Carnegie Medal for excellence in nonfiction. His previous books include The Worst Hard Time, which won a National Book Award, and the national bestseller The Big Burn. He lives in Seattle, Washington.