American Widow

American Widow

Hardcover

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780345500694
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/09/2008
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 7.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range: 15 - 18 Years

About the Author

Alissa Torres lives in New York with her family.

Choi is a graduate of the School of Visual Arts in New York City and has produced short comics as well as illustrations for The New York Times.

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American Widow 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is on the verge of best sellers. The detail is awesome and the dedication and inspiration in the book jumps out. This book is so good that my professor made it part of his class selected readings. How awesome is that. Now my whole class can join in the goodness of this piece of work. Very well written.
Guest More than 1 year ago
American Widow is a graphic memoir revealing the story of Alissa Torres who was left widowed at seven months pregnant by the tragedy of 9/11. The story includes that fateful day up to the one-year anniversary with alternating flash backs including scenes of Eddie at 10-years old, his life before meeting Alissa and their courtship, marriage and pregnancy. In chapter one alone, my arms were covered with goose bumps. 9/11 was just Eddie¿s second day at his new job with Cantor Fitzgerald. Included is Alissa¿s deeply frustrating struggle with several assistance agencies and the government plus you see how different friends and family react to her circumstances. The story exposed shows us just a glimmer of what surviving family members endured that I would have never imagined. When Alissa¿s private thoughts are shared you get a sense of how difficult and confusing this time in her life was and you can¿t help but be affected by this deeply personal story.
Guest More than 1 year ago
American Widow is a graphic novel revealing the story of Alissa Torres who was left widowed at seven months pregnant by the tragedy of 9/11. The story includes that fateful day up to the one-year anniversary with alternating flash backs including scenes of Eddie at 10-years old, his life before meeting Alissa and their courtship, marriage and pregnancy. In chapter one alone, my arms were covered with goose bumps. 9/11 was just Eddie¿s second day at his new job with Cantor Fitzgerald. Included is Alissa¿s deeply frustrating struggle with several assistance agencies and the government plus you see how different friends and family react to her circumstances. The story exposed shows us just a glimmer of what surviving family members endured that I would have never imagined. When Alissa¿s private thoughts are shared you get a sense of how difficult and confusing this time in her life was and you can¿t help but be affected by this deeply personal story.
gigi86 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This great graphic autobiography transcends anything you'd expect to do with 9/11. That tragedy has been picked apart and mythologized so much, it is easy to forget that the struggles that those directly affected faced were much less extreme than what most media coverage has focused on (Terrorism! Anti-Americanism! Jihad!) Whew! Run-on!In showing how the widows of 9/11 faced mundane, tedious struggles (battling with Red Cross and the US Government for compensation, avoiding media exploitation, single motherhood), they are allowed to be human instead of martyrs for us to project meaning onto. American Widow is the most poignant and least cynical first-person account of 9/11 I've seen anywhere. For that matter, it is one of the best memoirs on widowhood I've read.
DanaJean on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
American Widow was my first graphic novel. The illustrations didn't move me, except for one: The one of Eddie Torres sitting with his packed suitcase, alone and constantly waiting. That image was very powerful.The story itself was written in a way--fractured, disjointed(which is how information was coming in that horrible day and for days and days after)--that I could feel Alissa's alienation and disconnect from life around her. Struggling to just wake up and go on with the business of living. Pregnant, needing help; yet somewhat embarrassed to take it. Fighting to prove her husband existed and was employed by the company, moving her way through the red tape and corruption, the laziness and indifference. Every once in a while, finding that shining person who would be her lifeline and would get her through for another day, and another and another. I think the very nature of a graphic novel lent itself well to the telling of this tragic moment in history. Any hang-ups with that are the reader's, not the author's as I do think you have to approach graphic novels with a whole new, open mind-set about the experience. I will read this one again in the future; I think I will appreciate it more a second time through.I would recommend the story; I would recommend this graphic novel especially to those who've never picked one up, much less given the medium any credit as a legitimate format. Learn something new; learn a new way. American Widow will help you do that.
kmaziarz on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In 2001, Alissa Torres was pregnant with her first child. On September 10, her husband Eddie started work at Cantor Fitzgerald in the World Trade Center. On September 11, Alissa became a pregnant widow when Eddie, trapped on the 85th floor, leaped to his death before the tower fell.In this poignant and affecting graphic novel memoir, Alissa chronicles her first year as one of the 9/11 widows, including the birth of their child two months after his death. She discusses her desperate search to find Eddie after the attacks; the crushing grief of realizing that he was dead after all; the often horrifying and confusing encounters with inept aid workers, well-meaning friends, and angry strangers; and her on-going fight to actually receive her share of the Victim Compensation fund, a lengthy and harrowing process that forced her to relive her grief over and over again while gaining no ground.Sungyoon Choi¿s illustrations are simple and straightforward, using only black, white, and blue to convey Alissa¿s journey while taking nothing away from the rawness of Alissa¿s emotions and sense of loss. The books opens and closes with a featureless blue field, bringing Alissa¿s story full-circle from the cloudless blue sky of the morning she lost everything to the vivid blue ocean in which she floats one year later, remembering.¿American Widow¿ is touching and affecting, almost unbearably painful at times. It succeeds in bringing a national tragedy back down to the level of the personal and allowing those who didn¿t lose anyone to understand the pain of those who did.
mauramae on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Great graphics- sad story. Don't read on public transport.
Girl_Detective on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
On 9/11, Torres was in her third trimester of pregnancy, and her husband had just started working in the Twin Towers the day before. This comic-book memoir tells of her relationship with her husband, Eddie, his death on 9/11 and its aftermath. It touches occasionally on the nation and world at large, but focuses mostly on Torres story, which bring the event into painful, individual detail. Most moving to me was the shift from the outpouring of goodwill and rage, to the backlash and pulling away of both friends and institutions. The black, white and blue illustrations by Sungyoon Choi are simple yet evocative. They¿re a good complement for Torres¿ text, which I appreciated for its honesty, ambivalence, and ultimately, its hope.
ElizaJane on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the author's memoir of the tragedy of her life, becoming a widow on 9/11. Her husband was on his second day at his new job above the 85th floor and she was pregnant with their first child. The book jumps from moment to moment as she learns of his death, hopes that he is alive and missing, finding out he was a jumper, joins victim groups, goes through the bureaucracy of the charity help organizations and remembers past moment with her husband.The book lacks a cohesive narrative jumping from one event to another and sometimes just showing the author's grief and emotions rather than telling a story. Of course, this is a depressing and sad story and it is hard to 'review' the story of someone's grief. The author's emotion and pain is clearly at the centre of this book rather than a story with a plot or characterization. For those interested in the after effects of 9/11 on the families left behind by those who were killed this sad, tragic tale of a woman who survives her grief and starts a new life for her baby, this book will certainly appeal.
allison.sivak on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I liked how the author showed the wrinkles in what I had assumed was a clean story of American overabundance in grief and sympathy. I appreciated how Torres showed that difficult interactions with the Red Cross, volunteers, and even friends--who were jealous of her "tragedy payments"--contributed to her grief, and made her feel more alone. Particularly in a disaster that affected so many Americans, directly and indirectly.
MeriJenBen on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Eddie Torres had only been employed at the WTC for one day when the events of 9/11 occurred. This graphic novel recounts Alissa Torres first year of widowhood, the birth of her child, and the difficulty of being a "9/11" widow. Lacking a narrative focus, this book is more like a collection of set pieces that provide a window into the Torres' life. While this may be an accurate depiction of Alissa Torres' mental state in the year following her husband's death, it does not make for a compelling read. The disjointed nature of the work alientates us from the emotions on display. While Choi is a masterful artist, and the book is beautifully drawn, the shifts in time and focus keep the reader from fully engaging.
stubbyfingers on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a graphic novel about a woman who's husband died in the World Trade Center on 9/11--particularly tragic because she was 7 1/2 months pregnant at the time and his first day of work there was 9/10. I expected this to be a story about her love for her husband and how she managed to live her life with her son after the tragedy, but I was a little disappointed. Mostly this focused instead on how hard she had to work to get any aid from charities and how the charities were constantly ripping her off.
24girl on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
American Widow is a graphic memoir revealing the story of Alissa Torres who was left widowed at seven months pregnant by the tragedy of 9/11. The story includes that fateful day up to the one-year anniversary with alternating flash backs including scenes of Eddie at 10-years old, his life before meeting Alissa and their courtship, marriage and pregnancy. In chapter one alone, my arms were covered with goose bumps. 9/11 was just Eddie¿s second day at his new job with Cantor Fitzgerald. Included is Alissa¿s deeply frustrating struggle with several assistance agencies and the government plus you see how different friends and family react to her circumstances. The story exposed shows us just a glimmer of what surviving family members endured that I would have never imagined. When Alissa¿s private thoughts are shared you get a sense of how difficult and confusing this time in her life was and you can¿t help but be affected by this deeply personal story.