A THOUSAND WORDS - Alex Waterhouse-Hayward's blog on pictures, plants, politics and whatever else is on his mind.


Evelyn Lau In Bed
Monday, April 09, 2007

When the phone rang before 9 a.m. in the late 80s I was generally prepared for an urgent request for a photo of Vancouver writer Evelyn Lau to be sent pronto by Fedex (this was well before the press & send digital revolution). Those requests came from publishers and magazines in London, Tokyo, Copenhagen and once even from Sao Paulo.

Those lucrative awakenings began with an early-morning call from Toronto literary agent Denise Bukosky in December 1988. I was to photograph a 17 year-old girl, Evelyn Lau, for the cover of her book Runaway: Diary of a Street Kid. Based on a diary she started at 14, it details her experiences living on the street and her struggles with drugs, prostitution and attempted suicide. Nancy Flight, her editor, was to be my local contact.

When I met up with Flight in February 1989, outside Evelyn's rented suite, Flight's demeanour was glacial. Flight had called me a week before to ask for my studio address. I had replied, "I am going to photograph her where she lives. She will be more at ease. And I'll pose her on her bed. I's sure she has a young girl's beadspread." The silence on the line was eloquent. It didn't seem to help when I explained that I had a daughter of the same age and that I had photographed her on her bed. Flight stressed, "I'm going to be there."

Although the poised 17-year-old Lau seemed to be an adult (much more so than my daughter), she didn't think twice about my request. After all, she was also a teenager. I wasn't disappointed; her beadspread featured red balloons. Although another photo, not on the bed, taken later that day was ultimately used for the cover, I still treasure that first exposure of Evelyn on her bed with her dark-rimmed glasses.

She was to pose for me many times and here is one of my favourites as a mature woman (1990) who is most womanly and feminine.

Evelyn Lau, Elmore Leonard & John Lekich


Previous Posts
Easter Sunday & The Purple Stain

Sábado De Gloria

Michael Dibdin/Aurelio Zen - Requiescat in Pace

Trout Stanley, Jonathon Young & The Well Traveled ...

Vimy, Pierre Berton & The Re-Education of An "Amer...

Chester Johnson Is A Cowboy

Juliette, Dal Richards, Jack Munro & Double Chins

James Ellroy

Ron Basford, Prime Minister John Turner, Audrey He...

Viktoria Langton

January 2006

February 2006

March 2006

April 2006

May 2006

June 2006

July 2006

August 2006

September 2006

October 2006

November 2006

December 2006

January 2007

February 2007

March 2007

April 2007

May 2007

June 2007

July 2007

August 2007

September 2007

October 2007

November 2007

December 2007

January 2008

February 2008

March 2008

April 2008

May 2008

June 2008

July 2008

August 2008

September 2008

October 2008

November 2008

December 2008

January 2009

February 2009

March 2009

April 2009

May 2009

June 2009

July 2009

August 2009

September 2009

October 2009

November 2009

December 2009

January 2010

February 2010

March 2010