Chronicle Books, San Francisco, 2013

Author: Elizabeth Partridge

Elizabeth Partridge grew up in Berkeley, California.  When her father, Rondal Partridge, decided at seventeen to become a photographer, his mother, Imogen Cunningham, sent him to work with her family friend, Dorothea Lange. Elizabeth became part of this extended, Lange-Partridge intermingled family. Elizabeth was the first student to graduate from the University of California with a degree in Women’s Studies, and went on to study traditional Chinese medicine in the United Kingdom. An Oriental Medical Doctor and acupuncturist for more than twenty years, she closed her practice in 2001 to write full-time. The author of more than a dozen books, Elizabeth has received many honors, including the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and National Book Award Finalist. She still lives in Berkeley in a large, ramshackle house with her husband, father, son and his girlfriend, as well as numerous animals.

The Book

This beautiful volume celebrates one of the twentieth century’s most important photographers, Dorothea Lange. Led off by an authoritative biographical essay by Elizabeth Partridge (Lange’s goddaughter), the book goes on to showcase Lange’s work in over a hundred glorious plates. Dorothea Lange: Grab a Hunk of Lightning is the only career-spanning monograph of this major photographer’s oeuvre in print, and features images ranging from her iconic Depression-era photograph “Migrant Mother” to lesser-known images from her global travels later in life. Presented as the companion book to Grab a Hunk of Lightning which airs in Fall 2014 on PBS American Masters. This deluxe hardcover offers an intimate and unparalleled view into the life and work of one of our most cherished documentary photographers.


  • 106 Tritone Photographs
  • Never before seen original images
  • Captions and quotes from Lange’s subjects
  • Firsthand personal research into Lange’s life.