"It is clear Meola adores India. His photos capture not only images of common daily living in cities and countryside, but also fantastic religious festivals and rituals, gorgeous animals, the unintended beauty of pedestrian life, and also the ancient and irreplaceable monuments, temples, and fortresses around the nation. While it is well known India harbors more than her share of human pain and sorrow, Meola's images capture the side of life we all appreciate, which is sweet, simple, and uplifting, with grainy depth. If you can't visit India personally, this book will open the doors to your soul in that very special way."
"Like the first edition of India, the book benefits from a confluence of things that lift it into the stratosphere of fine publishing: remarkable photography by a master of color, elegant design, superb production quality, and the inclusion of writings by some of the most eloquent literary voices of India, past and present...a remarkable achievement. Somewhere, Lord Krishna is smiling."
"Absolutely exquisite...unbelieveable color jumps off each page. I would highly recommend for anyone who has ever been to, planning to go to or is simply fascinated by India."
No better time to come across distinguished photographer Eric Meola's work. I especially gravitated toward his photos from India where part of my design heart lies. Meola's deep understanding of color results in powerful and inspiring images. I am already eyeing his updated book, INDIA: In Word & Image, as an addition to my library. Meola's work will certainly help keep me inspired and 'creatively warm' through the winter.
"The chromatic exultation in 'India in Word & Image' isn't limited to the religious. Finely patterned saris show up in rural villages, as in one shot showing women in shades of orange and red lined up to fill ceramic jugs with water from a pond. And sacred and chaotic mix in scenes from the Hindu festival of Holi, during which crowds of celebrants hurl colored powders at each other in commemoration of the god Krishna's pranks. Mr. Meola's images include a wide view of a frenzied crowd seen through a whirl of color and water mist, as well as close-ups of participants' faces afterward, the patches of hot pink, yellow and orange picking out the lines in their faces. Worship needn't be drab to be solemn."
"If you want to dream almost hallucinatingly about visiting India. Or remember the best of the India you did visit. Or find the perfect Indian book gift. Then at long last you can. Big, luscious, delicious, exuberant—and of course saturated in colour—, Eric Meola's photographs roam around this astoundingly rich and varied land with a fresh eye. Dropped in among his pictures are short passages from some of India's best-loved writers. Nirad Chaudhuri's memory of a monsoon shower (page 147) is perfection; you can hear it, see it, smell it. Befitting such luxurious content, 'India' has its own saffron-yellow box to keep those dreams wrapped up safe, just as India's maharajas kept their precious miniature paintings wrapped and protected. There are thousands of books about India, but none quite like this."
"Celebrated photographer Meola is as intrepid a colorist as a master painter. The opening shots in this large, chromatic, and exciting volume include a close-up of a man's many-hued, pigment-spattered shirt during Rang Gulal, the Hindu "festival of colors" and a photograph of a woman walking through a field of yellow flowers, cuing us to the deep pleasure Meola takes in this vast, varied land in which he has traveled for more than a decade. "As a photographer," he writes, "I am drawn to India because of the psychedelic colors that seem to permeate every facet of life." His roaming yet intimate lens captures the drama and radiance of people, flowers, fabric, temples, and animals. In her introduction, Bharati Mukherjee observes that Meola "uncovers the beauty (and ballet) of survival embedded in the daily lives of ordinary citizens." Among the magnificent photographs are found gracefully selected and placed excerpts from the writings of Rabindranath Tagore, R. K. Narayan, Salman Rushdie, Anita Desai, Amit Chaudhuri, and Jhumpa Lahiri. This breathtaking, exquisitely curated volume is a feast for eye and mind."
"Photographers can find it difficult to forge a bond with people in an unfamiliar culture. But Meola's focus allowed him to photograph intimate moments—women adorning each other with makeup or flowers, displays of familial affection—without being invasive, since people were there for specific, familiar rituals. At the same time, the visual clutter that comes with these ceremonies altered Meola's techniques and methods"
"Within pages I was mesmerized by the changing contrasts in hues, textures, and compositions of this visual odyssey. This is not merely another rendering of the many splendors of India's multiple cultures and landscapes. This work, some 200 photographs edited from 25,000, is mostly about India's onslaught on the senses"
"The sumptuously illustrated book gives us a spectacular tour of India's diversity and its colorful heritage"
"[An] exotic five-star vacation in itself. The portraits, landscapes, and photographic studies of flora and architecture are more art than documentary, and are accompanied not by history lessons, but by masterly literary prose...Such words can hold their own with any pictures, even Meola's glorious photographs."
"Meola has a fine eye for detail and devotes equal attention to the grand
and the humble...Suffused with light and color, his images sidestep cliché to achieve an intimacy and spontaneity that readers will relish. Excerpts from such writers as Arundhati Roy, Salman Rushdie and V.S. Naipaul round out this breathtaking book."
"Undeniably exciting...the color images are gorgeous, also, there is text by such writers as Salman Rushdie and Jhumpa Lahiri. This is more than a book of pictures."
"Eric Meola, the photographer who shot the cover photo of Bruce Sprinsteen's 'Born to Run' album, has been traveling to India for more than 10 years, recording its people, landscapes, culture, and art. He sifted through 25,000 pictures from his journeys to select more than 200 images for this dazzling book."
"[Meola] is truly a grand master of color photography. He has the true eye of an artist. I feel he painted the festivals, the humanity, and the landscapes of India with a most compassionate eye... This book should be on everyone's coffee tables."
"Between the covers of Eric Meola's staggeringly beautiful India in Word and Image is a vision as large and dynamic as India itself. In a similar way to his first book, Last Places on Earth, Meola's peripatetic photography takes us on a journey to reveal the pride and dignity of a culture living in an ever-shrinking world of globalization and instant communication. Yet his new book goes further: through his lens we enter the soul of a country full of color and an unrestrained enthusiasm for life. From the riotously colorful celebration of Holi to a lone, meditating monk under a bodhi tree, the photography of one of the medium's true masters shows us an amazing part of the world.
The immediacy of Meola's photography is breathtaking, whether he's focusing on an expansive vista or showing us some minute detail that he has found and wants to share with us. Viewing the many and varied portraits throughout the book, I feel as if I'm looking not at images printed on a page, but directly into the eyes of the subject."
"Eric Meola has gone to India and photographed every inch of it. He has
brought back a vision of color unmatched anywhere on earth. When a master of
color photography meets India's festival of colors, we have the ultimate
magical mystery tour!"
"As the years have gone by Eric Meola has deepened his vision. India is
altogether a stunning book with indelible images."
"a strong sense of graphic design and brilliant saturated colors have always
identified Meola's photographs—and now it comes as no surprise he's added
his tender sense of humanity to the pictures in this breathtaking book,
"Eric Meola's India is a stellar collection of images and a must have
for the coffee table. It offers the reader a rare view of Indian
culture filled with emotion, vibrant color and history. With this book
Eric has outdone himself. He has once again produced a book with
images that are truly memorable. Eric brings back a collection of
images that most photographers would have missed even if they were
standing next to him. The composition, color and graphic appeal are a
testament to one of America's best photographers. This is a must have
"India: In Word and Image ($60, Welcome Books) is a lavishly
illustrated and captivating coffee table book, its colorful and
compelling photographs by Eric Meola interspersed with text from a
variety of India-themed writings through the ages. We see people,
landscapes, decorations, celebrations, poverty and excess, joy and
sorrow, and all of it combines to tell the story of a nation that
equally embraces its past and its present. India would be a nice
addition to a holiday wish list for travelers who have been or long to
"[An] ambitious and distinctive pairing of pictures and prose...The images are seductively beautiful; the texts are well-chosen and adroitly placed...What the book aims to convey by this weave of image and word is something essential about the cultural experience of India...the result is exhilarating and highly engaging."