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Frej Awards

"A simply gorgeous coffee-table style volume, Travels Across the Roof of the World: A Himalayan Memoir is a stunningly beautiful series of full color photographs graced with occasional commentaries by the husband and wife team of William and Anne Frej. An armchair traveler's delight, Travels Across the Roof of the World is a strikingly memorable and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, community, and academic library Tibet/Pakistan Travel Guide and Landscape Photography collections."
—James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief, Midwest Book Review

"William and Anne Frej have created a magnificent book that provides intimacy, acute detail, context, history, and ethnography of a vast swath of incomparable, and ecologically critical geography—the Himalaya. With nearly forty years of passionate exploration of this region—from one end to the other, beginning with Manaslu in 1981—they offer an engaging and deeply felt perspective on a subject more typically associated with the fever of conquest on the world's highest peaks."
—Michael Tobias and Jane Gray Morrison, from their Foreword

“In the vertical world of the Himalaya, it is hard to say which is more seductive: the stupendously stern and spacious land or the layer upon layer of deep-time culture, so rich in color, diversity, and sinewy strength. Bill and Anne Frej explore both of these dimensions in their opulent book, Travels Across the Roof of the World, which will lift you out of your armchair and send you looking for your trekking boots.”
—William deBuys, author of The Trail to Kanjiroba: Rediscovering Earth in an Age of Loss, and The Last Unicorn: The Search for Earth’s Rarest Creature

“William Frej’s enticingly sharp and magnificent photographs of the Himalayan landscape present pristine white ice-mountain walls, deep blue skies, and earthen, wood, and stone villages unblemished by the accouterments of modernity. Taken over the past four decades, these images provide a powerful and important record of the Himalayas long before motor roads cut deep scars into the mountainsides where he and his wife trekked, and large groups of explorers and climbers started leaving behind acres of trash. Frej’s evocative photographs of the Himalayan people he encountered also seem from another era—and indeed, many of them are--reminding the viewer of Roland Michaud’s or Eric Valli’s portraits: romantic and crisp like the landscapes they inhabit.”
—Kevin Bubriski, photographer and author of Kailash Yatra, with Abhimanyu Pandey, Mustang in Black and White, Nepal, 1975-2011, with Sienna Craig.

"Part travel picture book, part memoir, Willam and Anne Frey's Travels Across the Roof of the World (photos by Bill, memoir text by Anne) is a luxuriously printed book. It is heavy in the hand, its pages are thick, and the printing, the design, and the maps are superlatively done.

... A third word that I hear in my ears—or, if it makes any sense at all, in my eyes—is the word "Kodachrome." We're taking a kind of religion here so let me explain to the uninitiated. In the film days, there was black and white film and color film, and in color film there was negative film (which most people used, the orange-colored stuff that made prints) and there was slide film (also called reversal film or just transparency film). Slide film came in two types: Kodachrome and then all the rest. For many photographers of the color film era Kodachrome was less choice and more sacrament. There is sad news here. They no longer make Kodachrome nor process it. It is gone. But not entirely gone. Bill Frej knows Kodachrome, knows its special color palette, feels its warm presence, and he has had his Kodachrome slides lovingly scanned and then sequenced along with his digital files (apparently set to mimic Kodachrome colors the best that they can), printed in ink with much of the glory of the slide film right there on the page. The mountains reflect more color than seems possible, the faces of people are radiant, the skies too blue to be any real skies of this Earth. Some of the images hint at a brightness and a richness last seen on a glass-beaded screen in a dimly lit room. Books are funny things. You open them thinking you are going to see one thing and then you feel something else quite altogether unexpected. Bill and Anne chronicle their many wanderings in the highest mountains, decades of adventures, and I'm looking at those Tibetan faces and those mountains and I'm casting about for what is missing, not inside the book but outside of it."
—Darin Boville, The Bigger Camera (read full review here, pdf)



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