Vista Del Mar: A Memoir of the Ordinary

Book-release and author reading Thursday, June 2, 7 p.m., at 1078 Gallery, 820 Broadway.

The subtitle for local author Neal Snidow’s first book, Vista Del Mar, is both illuminating and deceptive. Through dazzling prose and quietly intense attention to the mundane, this so-called “Memoir of the Ordinary” honors life and our struggles through it. Twenty years ago, facing a personal tragedy, Snidow decided to find a way through his pain by inspecting the past through the lens of a camera and keen research into his family history (and Hollywood, and 1950s suburban living, and World War II and much more). The result is a vivid account that is both precise and mysterious—a gift to the reader that is layered with celebrations, agonizing heartbreaks and mystical coincidence, all illustrated with Snidow’s beautiful and evocative black-and-white photos of the places and people occupying the richly textured world he presents.