Graphic Women

Some of the most acclaimed books of the twenty-first century are autobiographical comics by women. Aline Kominsky-Crumb shows women’s everyday lives especially through the lens of the body, Phoebe Gloeckner places teenage sexuality at the center of her work while Lynda Barry uses college and empty spaces to capture the process of memory. Marjane Satrapis Persepolis experiments with visual witness and Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home meticulously incorporates family documents to re present the past. These five cartoonists move the art of autobiography and graphic storytelling in new directions particularly through the depiction of sex gender and lived experience Hillary L. Chute explores their interplay of words and images and counterpoint of presence and absence Intertwining aesthetics and politics these women both rewrite and redesign the parameters of acceptable discourse. “In the pages of her Graphic Women Hillary L. Chute shows in engaging unflinching prose the accomplishment of five key figures from a generation of women graphic novelists who have used this medium to record history testify about the cross-currents of life and memory and draw and write against silence about abuse dislocation and sexuality. We have today no more important or gifted writer on the graphic novel than Chute: read the book and you will be plunged headlong into the riveting world of comics today.”—Peter Galison, Harvard University “If you are not yet convinced that comics is the avant-garde genre par excellence and that it has provided feminist writers with a prime medium for telling life narratives then read this book. Read it also to learn a critical vocabulary with which to appreciate and discuss the layered sophistication of the hybrid form and to discover a powerful and diverse tradition of graphic women whose haunting works are beautifully elucidated in this powerful book.”—Marianne Hirsch, Columbia University “Elegantly written and profusely documented, Chutes breakthrough Graphic Women is a remarkable and original book that relentlessly pursues verbal/visual details of graphic narrative. Through constant invention, intervention of powerful interpretive strategies the volume reveals how gender trauma and autobiography are uniquely embodied in the fundamental material dimensions of the comic book form. It will become a new starting point for future comics studies.”—Donald Ault. Founder and editor of Image Text Interdisciplinary, Comics Studies University of Florida “An exciting and theoretically sophisticated gender and genre study, the kind of book that interpellates its reader defines its territory, and stakes its claims immediately.”—Bella Brodzki, Sarah Lawrence College

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