Graphic Women: Life Narrative and Contemporary Comics

Overview

Some of the most acclaimed books of the twenty-first century are autobiographical comics by women. Aline Kominsky-Crumb is a pioneer of the autobiographical form, showing women's everyday lives, especially through the lens of the body. Phoebe Gloeckner places teenage sexuality at the center of her work, while Lynda Barry uses collage and the empty spaces between frames to capture the process of memory. Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis experiments with visual witness to frame her personal and historical narrative, and...
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Graphic Women: Life Narrative and Contemporary Comics

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Overview

Some of the most acclaimed books of the twenty-first century are autobiographical comics by women. Aline Kominsky-Crumb is a pioneer of the autobiographical form, showing women's everyday lives, especially through the lens of the body. Phoebe Gloeckner places teenage sexuality at the center of her work, while Lynda Barry uses collage and the empty spaces between frames to capture the process of memory. Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis experiments with visual witness to frame her personal and historical narrative, and Alison Bechdel's Fun Home meticulously incorporates family documents by hand to re-present the author's past.

These five cartoonists move the art of autobiography and graphic storytelling in new directions, particularly through the depiction of sex, gender, and lived experience. Hillary L. Chute explores their verbal and visual techniques, which have transformed autobiographical narrative and contemporary comics. Through the interplay of words and images, and the counterpoint of presence and absence, they express difficult, even traumatic stories while engaging with the workings of memory. Intertwining aesthetics and politics, these women both rewrite and redesign the parameters of acceptable discourse.

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Editorial Reviews

St. Petersburg Times - Colette Bancroft

Scholarly and fascinating.

Contemporary Women's Writing - Tahneer Oksman

Graphic Women is a text that will appeal to anyone with an interest in contemporary women's literature and trauma studies, as well as those with a budding or established interest in the rich world of comics studies.

Biography - Mihaela Precup

An absorbing book written with dedication, impressive documentation, and a very sharp eye for detail.

Scadinavian Journal of Comic Art - Olga Michael

...an essential book for those who are interested in autobiography, visual studies and comics in general as it initiates a beginning in the study of women's graphic memoirs.

St. Petersburg Times
Scholarly and fascinating.

— Colette Bancroft

Time Out Chicago

The graphic novel industry isn't a boys club.

Contemporary Women's Writing
Graphic Women is a text that will appeal to anyone with an interest in contemporary women's literature and trauma studies, as well as those with a budding or established interest in the rich world of comics studies.

— Tahneer Oksman

Biography
An absorbing book written with dedication, impressive documentation, and a very sharp eye for detail.

— Mihaela Precup

Scadinavian Journal of Comic Art
...an essential book for those who are interested in autobiography, visual studies and comics in general as it initiates a beginning in the study of women's graphic memoirs.

— Olga Michael

Library Journal
Aline Kominsky-Crumb, Phoebe Gloeckner, Lynda Barry, Marjane Satrapi, and Alison Bechdel: these are five of the most serious and influential women creators of graphic narrative, and all have mined their personal lives to make game-changing comics. Working from an academic feminist framework, Chute teases out the commonalities and uniquenesses among them, while summarizing their importance for the medium and the culture. Some of the illustrations are sexually explicit. For academic and large public libraries.

(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780231150620
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Publication date: 11/16/2010
  • Series: Gender and Culture Series
  • Pages: 316
  • Product dimensions: 7.30 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Hillary L. Chute is Neubauer Family Assistant Professor in the English Department at the University of Chicago. Previously a Junior Fellow in literature in the Society of Fellows at Harvard University, her work has appeared in PMLA, Modern Fiction Studies, Twentieth-Century Literature, and Women's Studies Quarterly, among others. She is associate editor of Art Spiegelman's MetaMaus and has written about comics and culture for venues including the Village Voice and the Believer.
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Table of Contents

PrefaceAcknowledgmentsIntroduction: Women Comics1. Scratching the Surface: "Ugly" Excess in Aline Kominsky-Crumb2. "For All the Girls When They Have Grown": Phoebe Gloeckner's Ambivalent Images3. Materializing Memory: Lynda Barry's One Hundred Demons4. Graphic Narrative as Witness: Marjane Satrapi and the Texture of Retracing5. Animating an Archive: Repetition and Regeneration in Alison Bechdel's Fun HomeNotesWorks CitedIndex

Columbia University Press

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