A really thoughtful review of Tangles by writer Priscila Uppal on The Link, on Radio-Canada English. It’s the first time I’ve listened to someone talk about my book, as opposed to being interviewed. Somewhat unnerving, but lovely all the same.
Sarah Leavitt’s powerful memoir about the struggles her family faced as her mother battled Alzheimer’s is eye-opening and painfully honest. The sensitve subject matter and vivid pictures showcase the best the graphic novel format has to offer, earning its author the Bookie for Best Comic or Graphic Novel in the process!
Very exciting! I am kind of hoping for a golden Bookie Beaver to come in the mail, but I think that might not happen. It might just be a virtual golden beaver.
Check out my chat with Julie Wilson of Book Madam. In their words: “Book Madam & Associates is a collective of publishing and media professionals who love bright ideas and have been known to have a few of their own. Our goal is simple: to point to smart, savvy projects and people. Also expect inspiration, critiques, news items and the odd kitten video.” They also say they’re “The Cool Hunters of Publishing.” I’m a big fan of Book Madam and I’m thrilled that they looked me up. I love the chat format for an interview too!
I felt so old when the editor of McGill News contacted me for an interview about Tangles: it’s been almost 20 years since I graduated from McGill with my BA! Sigh. But anyway, it was interesting to talk to Brad Mackay about my book for this article: Picturing Her Pain. Brad does a lot of reviews of comics and graphic novels; you should check out his blog: The Cultural Magpie.
On November 18, the theme of Definitely Not the Opera was “What do you find when you get lost?” I spoke with Sook-Yin Lee about the ways in which both my mom and my family got lost when Mom got Alzheimer’s, and what we found through that process. You can listen to the podcast on DNTO’s website.
… But her drawing is actually deceptively sophisticated. What might at a glance look like whimsical doodles are in fact controlled and nuanced compositions wringing maximum emotional impact from minimal visual information. The appearance of naivete, sneakily effective at first, grows increasingly appropriate as Midge’s mind regresses into something resembling a childlike state.
I’ve shown this book to two friends, both of whom initially expressed doubts as to whether its form was appropriate to its content; both were soon won over.
The fact that Tangles was short-listed for the Writers’ Trust Non-Fiction Prize could be taken to represent a new level of mainstream acceptance for the graphic-lit medium. I’d prefer to take it as given that graphic lit has arrived and say instead that Tangles is simply a fine and touching book.
As the rate of Alzheimer’s continues to increase as the population ages, Tangles joins Jeffrey Moore’s novel The Memory Artists and Sarah Polley’s film Away from Her at the head of a list of illuminating and much-needed artistic responses.
Read the full article on the Montreal Gazette website The link is broken to the Gazette review, but here it is on the National Post.
Sarah Leavitt uses graphic means to tell her mother’s story
By Candace Fertile, Vancouver Sun October 9, 2010
Graphic novels have been around for some time, but Vancouver writer/artist Sarah Leavitt has taken the form and written a memoir — a deeply moving account of her mother’s struggles with Alzheimer’s disease and how the disease affected the family…
…Tangles is both a celebration of a life and an elegy. Leavitt doesn’t shy away from her fury and grief at her mother’s illness, nor does she ignore the messy part of Midge’s decline — her inability to care for herself physically. The daughter becomes the parent at times, cleaning up and caring for the mother.
Through the trauma, Sarah investigates her Jewish roots, finds an amazing partner and does what she can to help her family.
By creating this book, she has re-created her mother, a woman anyone would be privileged to have known. At least we get to know her through her daughter’s wrenchingly honest memoir.
Read the full review on the Vancouver Sun website The link to the Sun article is broken, but you can read it as reprinted in the Edmonton Journal.