In the Face of Silence, By Christophe Agou (Dewi Lewis £30)

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The Independent Culture

Part-documentary and part-portraiture, Christophe Agou's book is about the landscape and the lives of the farmers and families in his homeland – the rural Forez province of France.

Describing the region almost as vividly with words as he does with pictures, Agou's introduction describes "the furrows of poor earth, the scent of damp clover...the old car used as a henhouse...the worn out shoes on the landing". It is a tough but tender book; about hard lives, full of dirt and weariness, but also about stillness, the quiet, and natural rhythms.