Eight Girls Taking Pictures

A Novel

Eight Girls Taking Pictures

Read by: Joy Osmanski
From the bestselling author of How to Make an American Quilt comes a powerful and sweeping novel inspired by the lives of famous female photographers.

A deeply affecting meditation on the lives of women artists, Whitney Otto's vivid novel explores the ambitions, passions, conflicts and desires of eight female photographers throughout the twentieth century. This spectacular cast of spirited, larger-than-life women offers wide-ranging insight about the times in which they lived. From San Francisco to New York, London, Berlin, Buenos Aires, and Rome, Otto spins a magical, romantic tale that creates a compelling portrait of the history of feminism and of photography.
     While their circumstances may differ, the tensions these women experience—from wanting a private life or a public life; passion or security; art or domesticity; children or creative freedom—are universal. Otto seamlessly weaves together eight breathtaking vignettes to form a moving and emotionally satisfying novel.
  • Simon & Schuster Audio | 
  • ISBN 9781442358522 | 
  • November 2012
List Price $23.95
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Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for Eight Girls Taking Pictures includes an introduction, discussion questions, and ideas for enhancing your book club. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.


This mesmerizing novel reimagines the public and private lives of eight groundbreaking female photographers and illuminates their shared dreams and struggles. Eight Girls Taking Pictures offer a fascinating portrait gallery of spirited, creative women across time and against the backdrop of some of the twentieth century’s most momentous events. Eight Girls Taking Pictures is about women and the tension they experience—between wanting a private life or a public life; love or passion; art or domesticity; children or creative freedom. Each of these women comes from different circumstances and live at different times in history, yet, they all struggle with similar desires, dreams, and aspirations.  

Topics & Questions for Discussion 

1. Eight Girls Taking Pictures spans the greater part of the twentieth century. How did the roles of women in society change during this time? How about women artists specifically? What might 21st-century women be able to learn from the novel’s see more

About the Author

Whitney Otto
Photograph by Camille Solyagua

Whitney Otto

Whitney Otto is the author of five novels, including the New York Times bestseller, How to Make an American Quilt. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her family.