About the Book

It’s Complicated: The American Teenager

It’s Complicated: The American Teenager

October 2007
Hardcover · 160 Pages
$40.00 U.S. · $48.00 CAN
ISBN 9781884167690
Umbrage Editions


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Robin Bowman’s five-year journey into the heart of teenage America created a series of 414 “collaborative portraits,” wherein she shares her discoveries of a generation now coming of age. In searing and intimate photographs, presented alongside the young people’s voices of passion, pride, embarrassment, lust, pain, bewilderment, anxiety, joy, uncertainty, and rage, the book charts the coming of age of the largest generation in America—77 million strong—in every region of the country and every socioeconomic group: from a Texas debutante to teenage gang members in New York City, from a drag queen in Georgia to a coal miner in West Virginia.

Bowman’s intimate photographs ask us to reconcile preconceived ideas and stereotypes of teenagers with the diversity of individuals in the portraits. This book and the traveling exhibition it accompanies are about the inside lives of these kids and how they see their reality in their own voices.

Robin Bowman, a 2005 W. Eugene Smith Memorial fellow, is a photojournalist based in Portland, Maine.

Dr. Robert Coles is the Pulitzer-Prize winning author of the Children of Crisis series and a Harvard emeritus professor of psychiatry.

About the Authors

Robin Bowman, a 2005 W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fellow, is a photojournalist devoted to documenting the poignant social and political issues of our age. A traveling exhibition of the portraits will open at the museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago. Coles' works include the multi-volume The Inner Lives of Children, and the Children of Crisis series for which he won the Pulitzer prize. He was awarded the Medal of Freedom in 1998 by President Clinton.