Friday, April 2, 2010

what you should be reading too

It's kind of obvious why i'd want to read a graphic novel about an awkward high school girl, both written and illustrated by women. (see my earlier top ten books post, and also note #11.)

While Hiromi of my enduring coming-of-age favorite _The Cutmouth Lady_ is a "gaijin" parent-less schoolgirl coming to terms with her queerness in a rigid religious girls' institution in japan, Kim "Skim" Cameron, the heroine of _SKIM_ is a half-Japanese high school kid/aspiring Wiccan trying to make her way through the girl politics of her Toronto high school. There are the typical mean girls who surface in the story, but there's also the restless childhood best friend who is trying as hard as possible to separate from the often too-enmeshed quality of pre-high school best friendship (think Angela Chase and Sharon Chersky from _My So-Called Life_), a complicated mother-daughter relationship, and various incarnations of insider-outsider politics and exploration of "other"ness.

Other autobiographic graphic novels, the ones I've held dear like _Blankets_ and _Fun Home_, contain the dual perspective of both teenage self and the current writer's self. This perspective adds some hindsight, and, whether overtly or covertly, also offers a re-interpretation of formative events.

_SKIM_ is unique in the sense that Kim's narration stays firmly rooted in the high school experience. While this may pose less of a complex read than the novels I've mentioned above, it also offers a head-on glimpse at this girl-world, reading like the unsophisticated scribbled diary entries of a feverish teen who is dying to be "something" but is struggling with her own sense of self-awareness to figure out what that "something" is, while simultaneously dying to be told by someone that she already is who she needs to be.

2008, Groundwood Books, Trade Paperback, 144 pgs.

9 comments:

  1. 這個讚唷!!值得佳賞與獎勵~~●ω●........................................

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  2. Birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live. ....................................................

    ReplyDelete
  3. 量力而為,別勉強了,Cut your coat according to your cloth...................................................

    ReplyDelete