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Reading List: Passing for Human

Happy 1st day of December, darlings. I continue with my reading list of comic books by artists talking about gender biases, integration and diversity. Today on the reading list… Passing for Human by Liana Finck This book really struck a chord, with me, because one of the things I’ve been struggling in the latest years is, increibly enough […]

Happy 1st day of December, darlings. I continue with my reading list of comic books by artists talking about gender biases, integration and diversity. Today on the reading list…

passingforhuman_cover

Passing for Human
by Liana Finck

This book really struck a chord, with me, because one of the things I’ve been struggling in the latest years is, increibly enough if you know me, the concept of being too weird.

A visually arresting graphic memoir about a young artist struggling against what’s expected of her as a woman, and learning to accept her true self, from an acclaimed New Yorker cartoonist.

"Boys will be Boys"
“Boys will be Boys”

The novel has been universally acclaimed as a masterpiece and has received extremely flattering reviews that are certainly a better read than mine, both on The Guardian and The New York Times.

In this achingly beautiful graphic memoir, Liana Finck goes in search of that thing she has lost—her shadow, she calls it, but one might also think of it as the “otherness” or “strangeness” that has defined her since birth, that part of her that has always made her feel as though she is living in exile from the world.

"That's my desk, where I draw houses. I haven't sat there since I hurt myself".
“That’s my desk, where I draw houses. I haven’t sat there since I hurt myself”.

In Passing for Human, Finck is on a quest for self-understanding and self-acceptance, and along the way she seeks to answer some eternal questions: What makes us whole? What parts of ourselves do we hide or ignore or chase away—because they’re embarrassing, or inconvenient, or just plain weird—and at what cost?

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Passing for Human is what Finck calls “a neurological coming-of-age story”—one in which, through her childhood, human connection proved elusive and her most enduring relationships were with plants and rocks and imaginary friends; in which her mother was an artist whose creative life had been stifled by an unhappy first marriage and a deeply sexist society that seemed expressly designed to snuff out creativity in women; in which her father was a doctor who struggled in secret with the guilt of having passed his own form of otherness on to his daughter; and in which, as an adult, Finck finally finds her shadow again—and, with it, her true self.

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Melancholy and funny, personal and surreal, Passing for Human is a profound exploration of identity by one of the most talented young comic artists working today. Part magical odyssey, part feminist creation myth, this memoir is, most of all, an extraordinary, moving meditation on what it means to be an artist and a woman grappling with the desire to pass for human.

 

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