Thanks to everyone who recommended Tangles — apparently there were 10,000 recommended books, so it’s super great to see Tangles in the top 40! I am also just excited that there are three graphic narratives in the list: Tangles and Scott Chantler’s Two Generals and Chester Brown’s classic, Louis Riel. Comix FTW! You can see the whole list and vote over at Canada Reads. Voting will determine the top ten; then 5 judges will each choose one book to champion. Fun times!
This year the Canada Reads contest on CBC is limited to non-fiction. I’m really glad they are doing this, after last year’s focus on the novel. And it has been fun to see the reader recommendations for Tangles showing up in the daily roundups of recommendations on the Canada Reads blog. If you are so moved, recommendations are accepted until midnight Eastern Time October 14: http://www.cbc.ca/books/canadareads/2012/recommend/index.html.
Thanks to Ian McGillis for the promo for my Montreal reading this coming Thursday at The Yellow Door Coffeehouse, 3625 Aylmer, on Thursday, July 21 at 6pm. Admission is free….
Ian wrote a great review of Tangles in December, as he notes below. Sometimes it’s difficult for me to put as much stock in words like this as I do in rejection letters that say I can’t draw, but oh well. 🙂
The first work of Canadian graphic literature to be short-listed for a major mainstream prize (the Writer’s Trust of Canada Non-fiction Prize), Tangles is exactly what its subtitle says it is. I reviewed it in The Gazette last winter. (Here’s a link.) The review was a rave and I stand by every word; if anything the book has grown in my estimation, rooting itself in my memory where many books I’ve read in the interim are already gone. Its greatest strength is its tacit acknowledgement that subject like Alzheimer’s, if it’s going to be tackled at all, is best dealt with head-on. Leavitt spares nothing of her mother’s suffering, nor of her own complicated response and handling of it, and in so doing does all who have been and will be involved in such struggles a great service. It’s not hard to imagine that things could get emotional at a reading from such a book, so bring a few tissues.
Tangles is one of three finalists in the Book Illustration category of the 2011 Alberta Book Publishing Awards! Download the lists of finalists at the Alberta Book Publishers’ Association website. Winners will be announced June 11.
Since Tangles came out last September, I’ve posted links to reviews in the Globe and Mail, Vancouver Sun and other papers, but I haven’t linked to any of the blog posts about Tangles, maybe because it feels like too obvious an admission that I Google myself on a fairly regular basis. But when I saw this video review of Tangles by Ben Ziegler (via Lorne Daniel), I had to post it. This kind of personal, thoughtful response to my book just makes my day. There is also something special about connecting with men through Tangles — not that responses from men mean more to me than responses from women, but just that as a feminist and a lesbian I have become accustomed to making artistic and emotional connections with women. But through Tangles, I have had these very intense connections with male readers, both older men who have their own experiences as caretakers of people with Alzheimer’s, and younger men who are comics readers. I have this weird idea that somehow because our lives are totally different (or I assume they are) that they won’t respond to my book. But of course that is not how literature works. You’d think I might know that by now, after years of crying and laughing and sighing over books by people who are completely different from me.
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.