On reflection, I believe I am glad I didn’t buy this in my recent spate of bookbuying, because I have still not decided whether I want to own it forever. It’s very good – a graphic novel memoir about first love and losing faith – and I enjoyed it both times I read it, and I am looking forward to Craig Thompson’s next, whenever that may be. I don’t have anything bad to say about it, actually. The drawings are black and white, line drawings, and Mr. Thompson makes excellent use of the whole graphic novel form to do things with implication and without words, which is something I so adore about graphic novels. For someone who loves words as much as I do, I am incredibly pleased when an author can make something go without saying.
I suppose the reason I haven’t bought this even though it’s excellent is that it’s also awfully sad. Awfully awfully sad. I mean not depressing, but just very sad. Plus memoirs make me a little anxious – which is funny considering how many memoirs I read – but it’s just that people write these books that tell dreadful stories about them and their family members, and it makes me anxious for their family. Even though I’m sure they asked permission about everything they wrote.
Still it’s very well worth reading. I shall probably continue to check it out of the library periodically until I eventually cave and buy it so I won’t have to keep getting it at the library every few years. We’ll see.
I am just starting to read Blankets and am enjoying it so far because it reminds me of bits and pieces from my own childhood.
I was interested in your comment about memoirs making you anxious for the family of the writer – I’ve had these same thoughts. I think that is one of the main reasons I don’t write about my own life – at present, I couldn’t do that to my family. They would NOT be okay with it.
I must say, also, that I don’t think it is the case that most writers ask permission about the things they write about their families. That’s completely my own perception – based on no actual research.
Thanks for your thoughtful review.
I have read a few articles where authors of memoirs have talked about the choices they made in writing about family and friends. Sometimes they say they ran it by their family members, and other times they say they ran it by their family members, their family members said change everything, and they said no. And then they felt guilty, but like, not guilty enough not to publish the memoir.
Also, hi! I’m glad you’re enjoying Blankets – I think it’s wonderful. 🙂