Dupré, Judith 1956-
DUPRÉ, Judith 1956-
PERSONAL: Born October 3, 1956, in Providence, RI. Education: Brown University, B.A., 1978; attended Open Atelier of Design and Architecture, 1971-81.
CAREER: Author of nonfiction and photographer.
AWARDS, HONORS: Washington Irving Book Award, Westchester Library System, 2003, for Churches; MacDowell Colony fellowship, 2003.
The Mouse Bride: A Mayan Folk Tale, illustrated by Fabricio Vanden Broeck, Knopf (New York, NY), 1993.
The Heart of the Beast: A Love Story (graphic novel), illustrated by Sean Phillips, Vertigo (New York, NY), 1994.
Skyscrapers, introduction by Philip Johnson, Black Dog & Leventhal (New York, NY), 1996.
American Indian Rock Art, Chronicle Books (New York, NY), 1997.
Bridges, introduction by Frank O. Gehry, Black Dog & Leventhal (New York, NY), 1997.
Churches, introduction by Mario Botta, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2001.
Member of editorial advisory board, Faith and Forum (a journal of the American Institute of Architects).
WORK IN PROGRESS: Monuments: Life in Memory, and Churches: Book II, both for HarperCollins.
SIDELIGHTS: Writer and photographer Judith Dupré began her publishing career with a children's book titled The Mouse Bride: A Mayan Folktale, and also ventured into the graphic-novel genre before moving on to write a series of books about many of the world's manmade structures that includes Skyscrapers, Churches, and Bridges.
Dupré's first offering in this field was Skyscrapers, a collection of photographs presenting the world's most famous buildings, included in chronological order with accompanying historical information. The book itself is unique in format, measuring eighteen inches tall and eight inches wide. Of Skyscrapers, Patricia Dane Rogers wrote in the Washington Post, "The book uses its unusual shape to play up black-and-white photos, stacks of facts, history and highlights." Also unusual in its look is Bridges, a one-and-a-half-foot-long book that reaches a span of three feet when open. Patricia Holt stated in her review for the San Francisco Chronicle that Bridges "offers a luxurious tour of every kind of bridge. . . . Thanks to the richly detailed and authoritative narrative by Dupré."
Church structures "embody a society's highest aesthetic and technical aspirations," Dupré stated in the foreword to her 2001 tribute to these architectural gems. There is nothing usual about the coffee-table book Churches, beginning with its split-cover binding. Readers open "doors" to view the book's many pages that contain more than 300 photographs and floor plans, an introduction by Mario Botta, and the author's commentary about each specific structure. Featuring sixty-four essays on landmark Christian houses of worship from the first century to the present day, Churches "is marvelous for its concise and authoritative commentaries as well as for its rich color photography," commented Larry B. Stammer in the Los Angeles Times. While "some of the smaller images seem lost on the oversized pages" and "others are of insufficient quality to hold up at the necessary level of magnification. . . . the stops on Dupré's tour are all rewarding," stated David Macaulay in his review for the Wilson Quarterly. In Commonweal, Patrick Jordan praised the experience of perusing Churches, noting: "No matter how often one opens this book, the entrance rite itself elevates the imagination and promises page after page of visual treasure." All in all, while sometimes difficult to handle, Dupré's architecture books offer readers a view of some of the world's most amazing buildings.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, September 1, 1993, Deborah Abbot, review of The Mouse Bride: A Mayan Folktale, p. 63; December 15, 1997, Gilbert Taylor, review of Bridges, p. 673.
Christian Science Monitor, December 4, 1997, Susan L. Sweetnam, review of Bridges, p. B4.
Commonweal, March 8, 2002, Patrick Jordan, review of Churches, p. 27.
Los Angeles Times Book Review, December 29, 2001, William Lobdell, review of Churches, p. 18; June 30, 2002, Larry B. Stammer, review of Churches, p. 8.
National Catholic Reporter, February 1, 2002, Rich Heffern, review of Churches, p. 36.
New York Times, September 26, 1996, Lucie Young, "A Book Shaped Like Its Subject," p. C3.
Publishers Weekly, August 30, 1993, review of TheMouse Bride, p. 96; July 30, 2001, review of Churches, p. 82.
School Library Journal, December, 1993, Denise Anton Wright, review of The Mouse Bride, p. 102.
United Press International, October 18, 2001, Frederick M. Winship, review of Churches.
Washington Post, November 7, 1996, Patricia Dane Rogers, review of Skyscrapers.
Wilson Quarterly, spring, 2002, David Macaulay, review of Churches, p. 123.