Sometimes a book so special and intimate comes along that it draws the reader off the printed page and into a new possibility for life. Such is the case with "The Shared Heart," a collection of images and essays photographed and compiled by Adam Mastoon, a Massachusetts-based photographer, whose work has been exhibited nationally, and featured in Esquire, Forbes, Spin, and the Village Voice.
The 87-page book offers a series of poignant glimpses at more than 30 young people, all of whom are lesbian, gay or bisexual.
"Meeting and photographing the young people in this book has been a profound experience for me," says Mastoon. "Their fearless commitment to be themselves deeply inspires me."
Each young person's individuality is perfectly captured through the lens of Mastoon, and below each image is a short handwritten essay by the subject, as well as a longer, typewritten one. The attention to detail is evident-everything about this book says "crafted with care," including the young people themselves.
They come from every background. Some are class presidents, others are artists. Some have endured family rejection because of religious beliefs or cultural issues. All of them speak with candor and courage. Their collective testimony amounts to a powerful account of the virtues of bravery and honesty.