1-884167-66-7 / 978-1-884167-66-9 $35.00 Hardcover, 9 x 10 portrait 108 pages 37 color and 40 b&w photographs 4000 print run Umbrage Editions June 2007 Buy Now at Amazon

Carny: Americana on the Midway
Photographer, Virginia Lee Hunter
Introduction by Peter Fenton







Virginia Lee Hunter traveled throughout the U.S. for a decade photographing a slice of Americana, documenting the lives of carnies and carnival-goers alike in a body of work that is part coming-of-age chronicle, part road movie. Capturing colorful images of picaresque county fairs, Carny goes behind the bright lights into the elusive, lurid, carnival milieu, sneaking a peak into the tawdry and sometimes menacing world behind the carny`s garish public spaces, while simultaneously illuminating the ordinary carnival every American has burned into their childhood memory. The walk on the wild side brings Hunter in intimate proximity to the ordinary attendees and workers, as well as freaks and lowlifes that populate this world. Accompanying the images are illuminating interviews of carnival families, youths who have traded hometown for the adventures of the road, and lone men or women seeking a place to hide, yet belong. Carny celebrates the midway as a living, breathing entity, both transient creator of nostalgic romance for the towns in which it sets up a temporary fantasy of rides and games, or a space of eternal refuge for those in need of employment, acceptance, or escape. This unique view of an ageless American netherworld shares our nostalgia for its garish tinselly glamour, and savors its atmosphere of outsider surrealism.

The accompanying documentary film Carny will be broadcast in June 2007 on The Sundance Channel in the US, Channel 4 in the UK, and TV Ontario in Canada.