Staff Picks Genre Study - Graphic Memoirs

Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Maus I: A Survivor's Tale: My Father Bleeds History by Art SpieglemanI get so excited when I see a new graphic memoir on the browse shelf. Graphic memoirs are little slices of life told in comic book form. They allow you a dynamic opportunity to gain understanding about a particular time in a person’s life, while providing context for the author’s experience. Think of reading a graphic masterwork, like Spiegleman’s Maus. This Pulitzer Prize winning work not only told the story of one man’s experience being the son of Polish Jew who survived the Holocaust; but invited the reader to experience that world through images and words. Graphic memoirs provide a means for the author to show rather than tell. They will often focus on a specific event, or a span of years. The use of imagery throughout a graphic memoir allows authors to transcend the written word and add layers of meaning to their story. If you enjoy a good graphic memoir as much as I do, be sure to check out these popular selections.

Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi

In this graphic memoir the author shares the story of her life in Tehran, Iran, where she lived from ages six to fourteen while the country came under control of the Islamic Regime.

Fun Home: A Family Tragicomedy by Alison Bechdel

A graphic memoir about growing up with a remote dad who managed a funeral home while hiding his homosexuality.

March: Book One by John Lewis

March is a vivid first-hand account of John Lewis' lifelong struggle for civil and human rights, meditating in the modern age on the distance traveled since the days of Jim Crow and segregation. Rooted in Lewis' personal story, it also reflects on the highs and lows of the broader civil rights movement.

They Called Us Enemy by George Takai

A stunning graphic memoir recounting actor/author/activist George Takei's childhood imprisoned within American concentration camps during World War II.

Hey Kiddo by Jarrett J. Krosoczka

The powerful, unforgettable graphic memoir from Jarrett Krosoczka, about growing up with a drug-addicted mother, a missing father, and two unforgettably opinionated grandparents. A National Book Award Finalist

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