Bill Owens, Suburbia

Straight Arrow, 1973
Pages 96
ISBN 978-0879320423


This book is about my friends and the world I live in. In the fall of 1968 I began working as a photographer for the Livermore Independent. My daily routine took me into the homes of hundreds of families and into contact with the social life of three communities.(Bill Owens, Summer 1972)


“Almost every photo in Suburbia repays attentive looking, with details that turn an average photo into a great one… A groundbreaking exemplar of documentary photography” (New York Times). In Suburbia, Bill Owens accomplished an “exemplary, no-frills documentary tone… one of the most popular and successful American photobooks of the 1970s” (Parr & Badger II:24). “Suburbia is too sympathetic and too conflicted to be simply another ironic deadpan document… This delicate balance of outsider and insider perspectives turns the resulting book into a critical self-portrait—one that’s almost painfully observant but withholds judgment” (Roth, 224).