Kiss & Tell: A Romantic Resume, Ages 0 to 22

Kiss & Tell: A Romantic Resume, Ages 0 to 22

by MariNaomi
     
 

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From her father and mother's interracial marriage to her own "you show me yours, I'll show you mine" moments on the playground—from drug experimentation to sexual/identity questions—MariNaomi lays her inner life bare. Kiss & Tell is her funny and frank memoir in graphic form: a fresh and offbeat coming-of-age story unfolding

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Overview

From her father and mother's interracial marriage to her own "you show me yours, I'll show you mine" moments on the playground—from drug experimentation to sexual/identity questions—MariNaomi lays her inner life bare. Kiss & Tell is her funny and frank memoir in graphic form: a fresh and offbeat coming-of-age story unfolding against the colorful backdrop of San Francisco in the '80s and '90s. Through deft storytelling and charming illustration, MariNaomi carries us through first love and worst love, through heartbreak and bedroom experimentation, as she grows from misfit teen to young woman.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The series of sketches that make up this memoir are arranged by the author/narrator's age, beginning with before her birth, when we see her parents meet in Japan. In bold, graphic black and white drawings, sometimes reminiscent of Marjane Satrapi, the author describes a frankly startling range of shenanigans in her early teenage years. These include long stints as a runaway and many sexual and romantic entanglements along the way. Never flinching from the down and dirty details of what went on with all these guys (and, eventually, girls), the author gives a refreshing and poignant look at early sexual experience and romance, including the actually dirty, the tragic, and the semisweet. Unfortunately, this "résumé" doesn't present in-depth exploration of the character holding them all together. It comes as a surprise, for instance, when she runs away from home and stays away for three months, with the emotional ramifications of that only nominally acknowledged by the quick summary of her later maturing process in an epilogue. MariNaomi does a wonderful job of painting a series of portraits of moments of adolescence, capturing its awkwardness and strangeness and excitement, but a greater whole never emerges. (Apr.)
Elle
“Let’s hear it for a sexual coming-of-age that, for all its bumps, isn’t about victimology and regret. In Kiss & Tell, MariNaomi outlines in bold, woodblock-style graphic nonfiction just how a girl does it in this day and age.”
Boston Globe
“Picaresque, but down-to-earth, “Kiss and Tell,’’ winningly marries its spare, gestural, black-and-white style to its capricious though thoughtful tone. The soulfulness and even loneliness she expresses is all hers.”
Armistead Maupin
“MariNaomi is a true original. This sometimes harrowing tale of young love made me rock with laughter and wince with sympathetic mortification.”
Jeffrey Brown
“Despite offering an abundance of convenient stopping points, Kiss & Tell insists on not being put down until you’ve read every sordid detail. MariNaomi’s romantic resume is extensive and messy, but it’s a funny and rewarding wreck to watch.”
Amy Bryant
Kiss & Tell gets love, sex, and everything in between exactly right. Reading MariNaomi’s graphic memoir is like reading my own childhood journal—if my journal were extremely funny and well drawn.”
Julia Wertz
“This book isn’t merely a laundry list of men that Mari has dated over the years; it’s the earnest story of a young woman’s tumultuous, hilarious and heartbreaking youth. It’s also smart, funny, original and compulsively readable.”
Kirkus Reviews

Girlish innocence and disarming candor mark a graphic memoir that often reads like an illustrated diary.

Whether she's writing about threesomes, foursomes or the possibility of moresomes, the San Francisco–based cartoonist MariNaomi exudes a sweetness undefiled by experience. She begins before her birth, with the courtship of her father, an Army officer teaching English in Japan, and his teenage pupil, nine years younger. The author dedicates the book to her parents, "who I pray will still speak to me after they read [it]," and then proceeds to detail her encounters, year-by-year, with a variety of boys and an occasional girl. She begins with a chapter titled "The most beautiful penis I've ever seen," describing her sexual awakening in an episode that others might consider pedophilia. The story introduces the image of the butterfly, through which stages of development the book progresses. The vast majority of her encounters take no more than one page, six panels at most, making the longer episodes seem all the more ambitious and creatively audacious. One of them recounts her loss of virginity at age 14 ("Even though it got better, I was glad when it was over"), and another vividly describes her maiden voyage on LSD. As she matures, MariNaomi often presents herself as clueless about what she was doing, why and with whom, whether she was the seducer or the one being seduced. She seemed to fall into sex with boys who left her shortly after, and/or with whom she had nothing in common, and/or who were originally more attracted to one of her girlfriends. Eventually, she began to find some of her girlfriends more attractive than the boys with whom she continued to involve herself.

Though there are some dark interludes—her most serious boyfriend ends up in prison; she learns of the death of another years after their troubled relationship—this is ultimately a celebration of a young girl's life, from larva to wings.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062078650
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
07/12/2011
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
336
File size:
40 MB
Note:
This product may take a few minutes to download.

What People are saying about this

Armistead Maupin
“MariNaomi is a true original. This sometimes harrowing tale of young love made me rock with laughter and wince with sympathetic mortification.”
Jeffrey Brown
“Despite offering an abundance of convenient stopping points, Kiss & Tell insists on not being put down until you’ve read every sordid detail. MariNaomi’s romantic resume is extensive and messy, but it’s a funny and rewarding wreck to watch.”
Julia Wertz
“This book isn’t merely a laundry list of men that Mari has dated over the years; it’s the earnest story of a young woman’s tumultuous, hilarious and heartbreaking youth. It’s also smart, funny, original and compulsively readable.”
Amy Bryant
Kiss & Tell gets love, sex, and everything in between exactly right. Reading MariNaomi’s graphic memoir is like reading my own childhood journal—if my journal were extremely funny and well drawn.”

Meet the Author

Artist and writer MariNaomi was born in Texas and raised on the West Coast. Her work has appeared in such publications as The Comics Journal, Not My Small Diary, and Action Girl. She believes in animal rights, following one's dreams, and that nice guys and gals always deserve a shot. She lives with her husband and small entourage of animal friends in San Francisco, California.

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