After the publication of Loon Lake, Doctorow once again turned away from the solitary pursuit of fiction to enter into collaborative ventures. First, he wrote the texts to J. C. Suarès’s selection of photographs in American Anthem. This handsome coffee-table book provides a wry portrait of a divided society, in sharp contrast to the usual patriotic celebrations of Americana in such productions. Doctorow’s responses to the dramatic photographs selected by Suarès are often sober and occasionally suggest the apocalyptic. For instance, in response to a picture of firemen in action, he writes: ‘They move in their cumbersome uniforms with the gracelessness of a doomed species. The fires that are coming are too large for their simple trade. The fires that are coming are the complicated fires of abstractions and ideologies.’ This dark tone was maintained in his second major project, a collaboration with the director Sidney Lumet on the film version of The Book of Daniel (see Appendix). Aside from this, Doctorow was also teaching creative writing, giving public readings and lending his support to various liberal political causes. All in all, a very public life for a writer who has always valued his privacy.