Burke’s lushly illustrated biography of the iconic Vogue model turned World War II photojournalist has been winning excellent reviews and wide media attention ever since its publication in 2005 by Alfred Knopf (US) and Bloomsbury (UK).
Lee Miller: A Life, featured in the New York Times daily and Sunday review sections, was named a New York Times “Editors’ Choice” and one of the 100 Notable Books of the Year. It was also nominated for the 2005 Biography Award by the National Book Critics Circle. Lee Miller will be published in French translation by Autrement in 2007, the centenary of Miller’s birth.
Burke has given talks on Miller at a variety of venues in the US, France, and Australia, including the National Arts Club, the Metropolitan Club, New York University’s Maison Française, Princeton University, University of New South Wales, and Sydney University.
“As the biographer of a woman who lived so much in the gaze of men, and saw more cruelty than most, Carolyn Burke meets the challenge through metaphors of the eye and the lens . . .”
“Carolyn Burke has given us a richly detailed, excellently written, and critically observed account of this life — one that deserves a superb biography and has gotten it.”
“Carolyn Burke a bien senti que Lee Miller attirait les génies comme une limaille . . .Cette biographie magnifique se tient fièrement à la hauteur de son sujet.”
“Burke captures all the verve and energy of Miller's life . . .”
“Demonstrating the same clarity of observation and sensitivity to subtleties that distinguish Miller's photographs, Burke indelibly portrays a radiant woman forced to look into the heart of darkness.”
“Compelling, riveting . . . [Miller is] a forgotten visionary photographer who was muse and lover to some of the most influential artists of the early twentieth century, as well as one of the few women able to transcend this role and become an artistic force in her own right.”
“Superb . . . [Burke] is the ultimate photographer's assistant: setting up the background against which her subject can shine, clever, capable, sympathetic, and never in the way.”
“Delightful, meticulously researched, fascinating . . . Miller's life had many phases, all of them interesting, and Burke captures them in [this] fine biography.”
“Burke's splendid and gripping and thoroughly researched book offers an opportunity to re-assess the three-dimensional woman and her two-dimensional prints.”
“Burke's book is what biography ought to be . . . Lee Miller: A Life belongs on the shelf of anyone interested in how people of [Miller's] generation dealt with their times.”
“This handsomely produced and impeccably written and researched book is surely a state-of-the-art biography.”
“Lee Miller was an astounding woman, brought memorably to life in this astounding book.”
“At last, a life and an album about one of the most beautiful women who ever lived. . . . A remarkable book. . . . [Burke] lets the facts speak for themselves.”
“Burke's sympathetic tribute sheds . . . light on the lives of this highly original, often misunderstood woman.”
“This book provides a rare and valuable sideways look at the mid-twentieth-century avant-garde. Written in an easy style, peppered with a wealth of quotes and perceptive comment, it takes the reader deeply and unforgettably into the psyche of the strange little girl from Poughkeepsie who grew to become one of the most extraordinary women of her time.”
“This full-length biography is a fabulous read and a great insight into [Miller's] remarkable life. . . . The period around World War II is of particular interest.”
“As the first major biographer outside the Miller family, [Burke] traces a dynamic life that embodies the spirit of the twentieth century's first half.”
“[Lee Miller] does its complicated subject more than justice, adding welcome depths and nuances to the familiar legend . . . Burke relates all this with sympathy and fluency.”
“An engrossing double portrait, a subtle analysis of two enigmas: Miller herself and the exhilarating and appalling century in which she lived.”
“It is clear from reading this addictive book that Carolyn Burke has fallen deeply for Lee Miller's singular charms; I did too.”