Weegee not only captured the gritty underbelly of New York City in his explosive photographs, but he lived it as well. This long out-of-print autobiography, brought back with complete and unabridged text by Devault-Graves Digital Editions, was written toward the end of Weegee's life before he was the photographic legend he is today. Here he tells the story of how an impoverished Jewish immigrant named Arthur Fellig from Zlothev, Austria, came to grips with one of the toughest cities in the world and made it his own. In wisecracking prose that is a match for his unblinking ferocity behind the camera, Weegee recounts his days of taking tintypes of kids on ponies and how this knowledge of the streets and neighborhoods of New York led to him being the first on the scene of the city's every murder, disaster, and heartbreak. In Weegee: The Autobiography the author candidly and without reserve tells listeners about documenting the grisly street executions by Murder, Inc., tenements up in flames, child killers, lovers in the back rows of movie theaters, and the sexual misadventures of streetwalkers, pimps, and transsexuals, all in a voice that had seen it all and loved it all. Fans of Weegee's photography will not want to miss his story, told in the way only Weegee himself could tell. The new Devault-Graves Digital Editions version of Weegee: The Autobiography contains a wealth of new material. An original Afterword by author and critic Ed Ward is included.
What did you love best about Weegee?
Listening to this autobiography filled the room with Weegee's words so convincingly that it was like sharing my space with the amazing guy himself, and he is one entertaining talker. Kind of a braggart but I was glad he was because otherwise he might not have done justice to his magnificent immigrant and artistic journey. It's a sociological document too of family-life, business, education, humor, and sexual mores in a New York immigrant community in the first half of the 20th century.
Who was your favorite character and why?
Weegee himself because his unschooled eloquence expressed the creative force that drove him, and made a guy who specialized in murder victim photos a beloved figure.
Which character – as performed by Clay Lomakayu – was your favorite?
Clay Lomakayu is amazing. This made me think of something on the level of Hal Holbrook bringing Mark Twain alive on stage, only here all Lomakayu needed was his voice.
Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
It somehow cut through the rationalizations of not facing personal failures that hold one back from living out his personal vision unabashedly.
Any additional comments?
If you feel like talking with an interesting guy who will answer all your questions about himself without you having to ask, oor if you are feeling discouraged or lonely for a good conversation ths is where to indulge yourself for four hours and some odd minutes of fun. Weegee was one of the great nudist camp members in New Jersey history, among other things.