• You can call me Nana by Will Harris
  • You can call me Nana by Will Harris
  • You can call me Nana by Will Harris
  • You can call me Nana by Will Harris
  • You can call me Nana by Will Harris
  • You can call me Nana by Will Harris
  • You can call me Nana by Will Harris
  • You can call me Nana by Will Harris
  • You can call me Nana by Will Harris
  • You can call me Nana by Will Harris

You can call me Nana
Will Harris


A personal yet universal family memoir, this story introduces us to Will’s grandmother, Evelyn, who suffered from dementia in the later years of her life. As her memories eroded, history and fiction collided and a new relationship bloomed; once her grandson, the young photographer became an old friend, creating this work while trying to make sense of a newfound connection and to deal with his own grief. At times both haunting and lighthearted, this book weaves together family archives with altered images, collage, and new photographs including views inside the multi-generational family home in Pennsylvania. Along with some confused and touching conversations with Nana, Will assembles the fragments that went missing from her mind.

FIRST EDITION Trade Hardcover, 17 x 21.5 cm portrait, 96 pages
Section-sewn binding with paper covers and tip-in; interior tip-ins
120 photographs and illustrations; Afterword text
Published February 2021 | ISBN: 9781999446864


With this intimate book, Harris confronts the complexities of coping with his grandmother’s progressive dementia. For Evelyn Beckett, ten years ago was now ten minutes ago. She was both lost and reborn.

As the photographer mined the archive of her life, he deconstructed and reconstructed images in an unconscious collaboration with her. He pieces together their story by working with transcriptions of their conversations along with images of his family home and photographs he intervened with—attempting to draw nearer inside her mind as Nana’s clarity slowly fades away. Like dementia itself, this personal book is nonlinear and at times confusing, but Harris’s gaze on his grandmother’s condition consistently remains tender and subtle.

Design by Tiffany Jones

The Author

Based in Pennsylvania, Will Harris completed an MFA in Photography & Integrated Media at Lesley University in Cambridge, MA. In 2019 he was a finalist in Photolucida’s Critical Mass and was awarded their MFA Student Scholarship. Will has exhibited in the USA, India, and Denmark, and in 2015 he had a residency at Arteles Creative Center in Finland. In early 2020 he received a Black Creative Endeavors Grant, awarded by Something Special Studios in New York. www.willharris.co

Reviews + Press

“The photographs loop in affective rhythms that are deeply attuned to the contingencies of memory and the experience of grief. Everything feels present and departed at once. An archive, by definition, is always incomplete, subject to omission or loss, and Harris mines these blind spots with great resonance in his account of Evelyn’s life and illness.”Laura Larson, Photo-eye

“The playful and sensitive nature in which Harris has navigated the circumstance he finds himself in and his nana’s legacy is both soulful and honest. The photographs linger with you, bringing a smile at seeing a young and healthy Evelyn and awakening a deep sadness at what dementia does to its hosts.”
Harry Ross, Darwin magazine

“When Will Harris’ new monograph, You Can Call Me Nana, arrived, I was excited to take the journey through the pages of his remarkable visual storytelling. The size of the book sits between the space of a bible and a journal and maybe the book is a little bit of both, maybe it’s a scrap book of sorts, but ultimately it’s a love story of the best kind.”Aline Smithson, Lenscratch

“Combining the stories that Evelyn told Harris when he was a child, vernacular photographs from family albums, and audio recordings, the photographer comes up with something strangely new, haunting, and at times painfully beautiful.”GUP magazine

“This book explores the relationship between photography and memory and time and family so beautifully. A true gem.”
Sara Macel, Photography Program Coordinator and Lecturer at SUNY Rockland Community College

See more:
Photo-eye review by Laura Larson
Lenscratch review
British Journal of Photography feature, February 2021 Then and Now Print issue (view online)
Strange Fire review
Fisheye magazine feature (French)
Feature in Darwin magazine, Haunting Beauty of a life remembered
Phases mag
C41 Magazine
Lesley University Alumni interview

Selected pre-release features
Strange Fire interview
GUP magazine
Fraction Magazine

Special Notes

*Bildersturm Recommended Photobook, April 2021
*Photo-eye Book of the Day April 13, 2021
*Bestseller Photo-eye Bookstore, March, June 2021
*Photobookstore Recommended Pick, March 2021
*Curated selection Fiebre Photobook Festival 2020 – Gabriela Cendoya, Collector
*Curated selection Fiebre Photobook Festival 2020 – Tim Clark, Editor in Chief at 1000 Words, writer, curator and lecturer

Advance pre-order launch during Polycopies 2020, 11-15 November

You can call me Nana is held in the following collections:

The British Library (UK)
Arts University Bournemouth (UK)
University of Sunderland (UK)
School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Flaxman Library (USA)
TSU/Pickler Memorial Library Missouri (USA)