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From the Publisher"I thought I knew about Lynda Barry, until I read Susan Kirtley's Lynda Barry: Girlhood through the Looking Glass. In each chapter, Kirtley gives us new, provocative interpretations of such diverse Barry texts as the Naked Ladies! Naked Ladies! Naked Ladies! coloring book, The Good Times Are Killing Me play, the novel Cruddy and the graphic novel What It Is. Kirtley's writing—a combination of enviable clarity and the savvy application of narratology, comic art theory, and other ideas—does justice to Barry's kaleidoscopic take on troubled American girlhood. Anyone interested in Barry, female comics creators, or contemporary comics culture should read Kirtley's book."
Department of English, Appalachian State University
"Kirtley brings just the right combination of wit, wisdom and creative quirkiness to this important first academic study of the witty, wise and mercurial Lynda Barry. Focusing on Barry's lifelong engagement with the inner lives of girls across various graphic forms—comic strips, illustrated novels, graphic memoirs, and autobiographical workshop texts—Kirtley brilliantly avoids the trap of trying to pin Barry down within either comics or American literary history, instead allowing Barry's career as an 'image-wrangler' to define its own rules and ultimately its own canon."
—Jared Gardner, author of Projections: Comics and the History of 21st-Century Storytelling
"No one renders girlhood or reanimates memory like Lynda Barry. Susan Kirtley's new book makes a thoroughly powerful argument for devoting critical attention to Barry's work, indeed for placing Barry close to the center of our consideration of autobiography, the literature of adolescence, and the graphic novel. As Kirtley so ably demonstrates, there are many sides to Lynda Barry's career, and Lynda Barry: Girlhood through the Looking Glass is the first place where they have been assembled with the critical synthesis they deserve."
Department of English, University of Vermont