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The Woman in the Photograph

3.36  ·  Rating details ·  615 ratings  ·  126 reviews
Set in the romantic glow of 1920s Paris, a captivating novel of New York socialite and model Lee Miller, whose glamorous looks and joie de vivre caught the eye of Man Ray, one of the twentieth century's defining photographers.

1929, Montparnasse. Model and woman about town Lee Miller moves to Paris determined to make herself known amidst the giddy circle of celebrated artis
Paperback, 322 pages
Published August 4th 2015 by Gallery Books
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Sarah Lee Miller is a real person!! Model and photographer, she's quite the lady.

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Pearl Angeli
Moving or motionless, in shadow or light, she was his subject.

This book is a breath of fresh air. It's been a while since I've read a historical fiction so I'm glad I was able to delve into this book. The Woman in the Photograph takes place in the year 1929 in the beautiful city of Paris. We start the book with the heroine Lee Miller, a model and a fashion icon who became enthralled not only with posing for photographs but also with doing photography herself and diving more into visu
Rebecca McNutt
Nov 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the best historical fictions I've ever read, I'm very surprised that it currently has such low reviews. Maybe I just appreciate it more because of my interest in film photography, but I also think that it captures all the vibrancy and scenery and imagery of 1920's Paris, so that reading the book is like looking at an old photograph from a trunk in a little thrift store. :)
Julie Ehlers
Jul 22, 2015 rated it did not like it
Even I am a bit surprised by the fact that I’m giving this novel one star. I mean, what was I expecting when I picked it up? Did I think it was going to be some kind of literary masterpiece? Don't I like books that take place in Paris between the wars? Don't I like books about creative people? Didn't I read this in two days? Didn’t I love the way the font on the spine looked kind of like the lettering on that one Paris Metro sign? Answers: I don't really know, no, yes, yes, yes, yes. So what wen ...more
Jul 27, 2015 rated it it was ok
Paris in the late 1920’s and early 1930’s was the epi-center avant garde art movement. Dana Gynther attempts to capture this era in her work “The Woman in the Photograph” – a fictionalized account of real-life surrealist photographers (and lovers) Man Ray and Lee Miller.

Having never heard of Lee Miller, I was fascinated to learn her story. Originally a model for Vogue, she worked hard at her craft and eventually gained recognition for her fine art photographs. Her work became known in the surrea
Aug 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
I love the times of 1920's Paris and the art scene, whether it be literature, painting, fashion, and now photography. What a fascinating story about Lee Miller, model turned photographer, and her relationship with Man Ray. I feel the author captured her character well and provided meaningful insight into who these people were and their prestigious associates. Anyone interested in being entertained about the people behind the work would enjoy this novel.

Thanks Simon & Schuster for supplying an a
Well-written novel based on the fascinating real life of the photographer Lee Miller, mostly focusing on her relationship with the surrealist artist/photographer Man Ray. She started as a model but quickly developed a talent for photojournalism (and was a war photographer in WWII). The author does a fantastic job transporting the reader to this place and time (and deftly incorporates the other BIG personalities of the day) and depicting a romance that feels real. Perfect for fans of historical f ...more
Judy D Collins
A special thank you to Gallery Books and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

The captivating and talented Lee Miller’s life in Paris in the 1920s-- full of glamour and excitement, THE WOMAN IN THE PHOTOGRAPH by Dana Gynther, is a stunning portrayal of blending fact and fiction-- a fascinating life in one of the most romantic times in the twentieth century.

Born in Poughkeepsie, New York, in 1907, Lee Miller was a successful fashion model in New York City in the 1920s before g
Mary Dansak
Nov 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book is a rollicking read, drawing you immediately right into the life and times of Lee Miller, student and muse of Man Ray, and later photographer rivaling her mentor. With her keen eye for detail, author Dana Gynther makes you feel like you are there with Lee and her sometimes outrageous contemporaries. Gynther does an excellent job painting the picture of the 1920's Paris surrealist scene, as well as giving us an intimate look into a complicated woman's life. I highly recommend this nove ...more
Dec 17, 2015 rated it it was ok
In theory, this book was right up my alley. Paris in the late 1920s, Surrealist photographers, and a narrator who went on to be one of the most influential female photojournalists of our time. For a raging Francophile with a degree in Photojournalism, this couldn't go wrong! Right?

LOL NOPE. 320 pages of Lee Miller having poorly written sex with literally everyone. Man Ray, leader of the Surrealist movement, groundbreaking photographer, was reduced to a wimpering, flat character with fits of jea
Deborah Pickstone
Book of the week for me! Excellent biographical novel of not one but TWO of my admired artists. My only reservation is that Man Ray came over as less than admirable, as a man. But....why do I feel a desire to see the person behind the work as somehow above human frailty? I guess we all like to look up to someone, no? Anyway, both of them came over as very human! Miller was a fascinating woman, not least for her post-Holocaust photography. Given that experience and the other biographical data use ...more
Sep 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review

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The Woman in the Photograph by Dana Gynther is a deeply rich, stunning, and exciting read that is set in Paris in the 1920s that captures your full attention as the author perfectly blends history and fiction in a beautiful backdrop of fashion, photography, and arts while seductively connecting two compelling Americans living in Paris. This book is much more than photography but a blend of romance, emotions and arts. I love
Jul 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Very beautifully written story. This is the second story I have read where Lee Miller and Ray Man are featured. It's an interesting take on how Ray Man is a needy artist who is a little jealous of Lee's talents behind the camera and her relationships with other men. He doesn't want her to outgrow him. This story does a great job of portraying a mentor/assistant relationship. Lee is kind of a loner. She really doesn't have many close friends and kind of just does whatever makes her feel good. She ...more
Aug 07, 2015 rated it it was ok
Received free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

The Woman in the Photograph is the fictional account of the real relationship between acclaimed photographer Man Ray and his lover Lee Miller. Apparently, these two are well known, but not exactly being a photography fan, I've never heard of them.

To me this book reads like a typical romance novel. There really doesn't seem to be much substance, just Lee's on-and-off relationships with the men around her. I would have loved to read
Mar 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
I couldn't turn the pages fast enough in this fascinating historical novel about Surrealist artist and photographer Man Ray and his muse, Lee Miller.

Any story about two avant-garde Americans in Paris during the 1920's has allure for me, but when the two are a glamorous and very liberated fashion model who (intentionally) collides with a well-known artist, the potential is explosive. And this book delivered.

Dana Gynther not only made her characters come alive, but the entirety of bohemian Paris
Jul 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Total enjoyment! I started and did not stop reading until I finished with the exception of looking up information on Lee Miller and her life. The settings, the characters, the time period, the art.... Her treatment as a child when she was sexually abused was infuriating, but not surprising. And this is, after all, historical fiction. with that in mind, I had to wonder about 'Man' who, as with most all of the other characters, is /was a real character.

For someone who enjoys Paris, photography, w
Areta Bohacz may
Aug 12, 2015 rated it liked it
I wanted to love this book. It was easy enough to get into the story but as it went on I didn't find myself drawn to the characters and the writing. All in all the story was good but I think the writing was off as it took me longer to read than most novels that are three times as long. This could have been a much better read based on Lee Miller and her relationship with Man Ray set against the backdrop of Montparnasse, Paris sadly it was lackluster.
Dec 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Beginning and middle are splendid, with quite a bit of dramatic romance... While the end slopes down a bit, and in my opinion cannot be seen as satisfying. The main character is left without a place.
Michelle Hansendaberkow
Mar 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own-shelf
Two tragic lives meet, then swirl around Paris with their well known artist friends while making art.

Excellent historical creation. Fun read.

The characters are full of spirit and complexities.
Emily Natale
Sep 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book has gotten me interested in the historical fiction genre.
Jun 26, 2019 rated it did not like it
Not even sure who the woman was.
Debbie Robson
Jun 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
It is definitely a fine line between fact and fiction and Dana Gynther has balanced on that line with aplomb and elegance. I first came across Lee Miller only about five years ago when I was searching through books about heroic women. I was concentrating on the First World War but there she was in a dark coat - obviously not from the First World War - blonde, beautiful, confident and arresting.
A model, I wondered. She was beautiful enough but she wasn’t just a model she was a fashion photograph
Sep 14, 2016 rated it liked it
The Woman in the Photograph is a novel about the model /photographer Lee Miller who moved to Paris in the 1920s to study with Man Ray, a surrealist painter and photographer. Lee becomes his muse and they enter into a complicated relationship. Over the years she develops into an accomplished photographer in her own right. The book seemed to focus on the "eccentric" aspects of Lee's personality instead of providing a better sense of the 1920s Paris art scene. Again a book that seemed a bit more ro ...more
Kristi Lamont
Feb 11, 2015 rated it liked it
Enjoyed this book by my friend Dana Gynther -- I could just hear her voice reading me the story. (In fact, this is the first time since listening to Shakespeare's works on cassette tape on long drives that I've wanted to have an audio book experience . . . .) I will have to be honest, though (even if she is my friend . . . or, maybe even especially because she is my friend): I didn't like it as well as her first. But that is more about me than the book; I'm not a fan of Man Ray, nor have I been ...more
Aug 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
First off thank you Simon & Schuster for sending me a free book to read and review.

I really loved this book set in Paris during the late 20's and early 30's. It is based on real artists of the time. Lee Miller is the main character. She was a young model, muse, photographer, party girl and surrealist at the time. Her mentor was Man Ray. I found the book to be a truly fascinating look into that world.

Melanie Edens
Apr 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
I've been reading historical novels about great artists, and The Woman in the Photograph is one of the best. Lee Miller, the model, actress turned photographer and Man Ray, plus all of the players in the avant garde Paris of the 1920's, capture this fascinating period of Surrealism. The author keeps the plot moving, ending the story in 1946 Hollywood after Miller has become one of the most prolific and daring photographers of World War II and the horrors of the Holocaust.
Linda (un)Conventional Bookworms
*I received a free ARC of The Woman in the Photograph from Gallery Books via Edelweiss in exchange of an honest and unbiased review*

This book counts for the COYER scavenger hunt item 42: Read a book set in the 1920’s (3 points)

ARC received on July 2nd, 2015
May 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
Fun window into "interwar" Paris. And, the egotistical, decadent world of the artists (and their at times imperialistic eye of "primitives" and orientalism) who populated it. Loved the view via a woman. And, there's a fun reference to Tuscaloosa...
Hannah West
Jul 09, 2018 rated it did not like it
I had high hopes for this book. Unfortunately, I was thoroughly disappointed. In my opinion, it was not well written and I actually stopped reading long before the end (which is a rarity for me).
Aug 14, 2017 rated it liked it
The most attractive character in this historical-fiction novel is the city of Paris in the late 1920s and 30s. The author beautifully evokes the sense of place and excitement of the Montparnasse area of Paris, its "beautiful people" and artists. Also to the author's credit is that she manages to make the two main characters-- photographers Lee Miller and Man Ray-- believable and somehow worthy of empathy despite their major character flaws.

Lee Miller, fashion model, muse, and photographer becom
Jul 13, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5 stars. I quite enjoyed this book about Lee Miller and her relationship with the photographer Man Ray. Considering the time frame (starting in the late 1920's), Lee Miller was an adventurous young woman making her own way in Paris. She was a model, a muse and a lover of celebrated photographer Man Ray. This novel chronicles her growth as an independent woman and artist in her own right. For whatever reason, I did not clue in initially that this novel was based on real people and real events. ...more
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 2 4 Jul 21, 2015 12:32PM  

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Dana Gynther was raised in Alabama, but has lived in Missouri, Massachusettes, France, Costa Rica and Spain. A writer of historical fiction, her first two titles, "Crossing on the Paris" and "The Woman in the Photograph" -- both with a French connection-- were inspired by her own connection to France. She spent nearly two years there after graduating from college, then returned to the University o ...more

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