Nina McConigley Recommends...

“Years ago when I was traveling in India, I found a junk shop in Cochin that was filled with random things. In one corner were stacks and stacks of old photographs from a photography studio that had long since closed.

There were photos of families posed stiffly in their best clothes, brides and grooms with grim expressions, and photos of children—so many children. Many of them were posing in the odd sets of the photography studio—an oversized paper moon, a large cut-out boat. I bought several photographs and keep them near me when I write. I always wonder what the story is behind each photo; who were these people? Even in thrift stores here in the United States, I always buy old photos. It seems sad that they have been abandoned, and I find the faces of the unknown a good talisman for writing characters I sometimes find equally unknowable.”
—Nina McConigley, author of Cowboys and East Indians (FiveChapters Books, 2013)