The basics: Civil rights icon and long-serving Congressional Representative John Lewis recounts his life in this graphic memoir, the first in a planned trilogy. Book One covers his childhood through the Nashville Student Movement, as well as flashbacks of a young family visiting Lewis's DC office today.
My thoughts: I was proud to live in Lewis's Congressional district in Atlanta for many years, and I have long been fascinated by his life, both past and present. (And, yes, I still wish everyday I still had him as a Representative.) The events in March: Book One will be familiar to anyone with a passing knowledge of Lewis (and the second half to those who have seen Stanley Nelson's excellent documentary Freedom Riders.) What March does best is provide context for the omnipresent and harrowing racism. By having two children asking questions (there visit poetically coincides with Barack Obama's inauguration) filled with disbelief gives the grim tales a sense of hope without shying away from our tragic shared history.
Rating: 4 out of 5
Length: 128 pages
Publication date: August 13, 2013
Nylon Road by Parsua Bashi
The basics: Subtitled "A Graphic Memoir of Coming of Age in Iran," Bashi recounts her life, including her decision to leave Iran behind.
My thoughts: Bashi revisits her life by talking with her former selves. Thus the memoir is more about her coming to terms with the decisions she made (and the lot she was handed in life) than experiencing them with her. For this reason, this memoir fell somewhat flat for me. The conversations with past selves struck me as melodramatic rather than poignant. My reaction could be one of personal preference--this narrative technique didn't resonate with me. I wish it did, because there is a fascinating story hiding underneath, and if you can reach it, this memoir might be much more moving.
Rating: 3 out of 5
Length: 128 pages
Publication date: November 10, 2009
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