Read: The Girl with the Leica

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Helena Janeczek’s novel “The Girl with the Leica,” follows the real-life story of photographer, anti-fascist Gerda Taro who also happened to be the partner of Robert Capa, the most famous war photographer of his era. Taro, sadly, became the first female photojournalist to die on the battlefield but the series of events leading to that moment are legendary. Also legendary is the story of “The Mexican Suitcase,” which is detailed in the last chapter of the book. Taro, real name Gerta Pohorylle, was in integral figure in the developing world of photojournalism. All of the characters in this book suffered through a myriad of life events caused by the climate of the times. Many were refugees fleeing one region or another but who still managed to work throughout the process. When I read about the challenges, limited resources, limited industry and the overall danger you can’t help but tip your hat to the tenacity people like Taro put on display. (Makes modern photographers look like ginger beer.) This book is well written and conjures up a unique style in the process. The book also won the “Strega Prize.” Get it, read it.

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