"Mary Ellen Mark started a self-assigned project in 2003 of reviewing tens of thousands of her photographs to identify the ones that meant the most to her. This process resulted in a first rough cut of one thousand images created over forty years. From these she gradually edited down the selection, pruning until she could go no further, ultimately choosing 134 iconic pictures and arranging them in a sequence that, when examined closely, establishes an introspective and confessional story line. What unfolds in the sequence of pictures reproduced in this book cannot be read like a piece of expository journalism. Instead, each page is a benchmark in the emotional life of this artist, as well as a mirror of what she faced when the lens was focused and the shutter released. The selecting process is one utterly devoid of objectivity, and one wherein feeling takes priority over logic. The result is an amazing sequence of pictures that collectively establish the art in a documentary photograph to be the perfect reconciliation of form, emotion, and truth."