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Petra Collins

Petra Collins: “I know what it’s like to be there”

September 21, 2016
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Petra, your photography captures not only the beauty of its teenaged subjects, but also their struggles with identity and coming of age. Do you remember your first identity crisis?

You know, I didn’t really have an identity crisis because I really, really knew who I always wanted to be… But I definitely had a lot of problems with my body. I was very skinny and I guess my body was sort of pre-pubescent but when I grew hips and thighs, I just didn’t know where I was in the world. It was weird… We have this weird beauty standard where women like shouldn’t grow: what we think is feminine is often what is also pre-pubescent. So it’s just a strange in-between that you live in you’re like, “Oh I’m a woman but I’m also supposed to look like what I did when I was 12…”

Unfortunately those anxieties never really go away, even as we get older.

It’s something that I continue to struggle with. Most girls, I think, are sharing these problems, which is so sad. I read a really good quote that says, “Women learn to exhibit their bodies, not inhabit them,” which I thought was so correct. (Laughs)

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Don Winslow

Don Winslow: “I like being scorned”

September 14, 2016
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Mr. Winslow, you were born on Halloween night 1953. Were you destined to end up writing noir thrillers and crime fiction?

I wonder about that sometimes! You know, when I was a small boy, I used to think that on everybody’s birthday people came to your house in costume and your parents gave them candy. (Laughs) As for its influence… People do joke about that. I guess if you’re born on Halloween in New York City, you don’t have many choices!

The story also goes that your grandmother worked for the mafia.

“Worked for” is a different definition. My grandma was a gambler in New Orleans and she ran poker games and dice games and things. So when you do things like that, you need permission from the mob, sure. I grew up with a lot of those people. I lived in mafia neighborhoods off and on when I was a kid. If you were in Little Italy, in East Harlem, in Brooklyn… Those neighborhoods were, in those years, dominated by mafia families. You knew it and you felt it, you know?

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