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Displacement Paperback – February 8, 2015
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“In her fourth book, Lucy Knisley deftly conveys the frustration of managing her ailing 'grands' during a maritime excursion, inducing pangs of recognition in any reader who’s been around the decaying bodies and psyches of loved ones. What really sets the book apart, however, is Knisley’s sparing artwork: Her unhurried lines and gentle watercolors create a show-don’t-tell buffet of melancholy.” (Abraham Riesman - Vulture)
“This is going alongside A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again as required reading ahead of a cruise. Knisley celebrates the lives of her grandparents and grapples with her own mortality aboard the deck of a vacation cruise ship.” (Brian Heater - Tech Times)
“[Knisley's] art is terrific and getting even better. ...[H]er craft and heart keep this volume from turning into a bummer and a disaster like her trip.” (Richard Pachter - The Miami Herald)
“In this sensitive graphic memoir, …Knisley finds both the humor and the sadness in her grandparents’ condition while also pointing out the loneliness of being the only one responsible for caregiving and the frustration she feels for how the elderly are feared and ignored in modern America. ...Displacement is a timely and mature work that pairs perfectly with other elder-care titles, such as Roz Chast’s Can’t We Talk about Something More Pleasant?” (Snow Wildsmith - Booklist)
“A cruise with your elderly grandparents is probably not the most appealing prospect for a typical 20-something. But cartoonist Lucy Knisley turns this potentially joy-sapping experience into the funny and heartfelt graphic memoir Displacement. … There’s a sunniness to her sarcasm, even as she faces the reality of her grandparents’ declining health.” (Nora Krug - The Washington Post)
“Knisley volunteers to chaperone her ninety-year-old grandparents on their Caribbean cruise and ends up on another transformative journey, this time headlong into her fears about aging and death. I'm a fan of her work. ... Knisley moves rapidly between love, sorrow, and worry every day of the cruise.” (Sarah Hunt - Unshelved)
“...[T]he quality that’s made Knisley a great storyteller ― her ability to recall nuanced encounters with a blend of wit and compassion ― allows her to craft a compelling and complicated account of this time spent with her grandparents. ...[A] must-read...” (Tim O'Shea - Robot 6)
“Knisley's able to achieve an impressive balance between humor and poignancy, juxtaposing observations on the bizarre line-up of nighttime entertainment and the strangeness of her fellow passengers with thoughtful observations on aging and excerpts from her grandfather's World War II journals.” (Brian Heater - Paper)
“Knisley has a great eye for what makes travel fun: what’s different, what's delicious, cool museums, cute kitties, history, even the strange inconveniences.” (Gene Ambaum - Unshelved)
“Each of Lucy Knisley’s memoirs has been stronger than the last, and Displacement continues that rising arc. … As Roz Chast did with her parents in Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?, Knisley paints a true portrait of old age, never denying the unpleasant realities of illness and dementia but never letting her grandparents dwindle to just that. ...Knisley pays tribute to them by telling their story as well as her own.” (Brigid Alverson - Robot 6)
“...[T]he book [transforms from] a chronicle of the humorous-in-retrospect hardships she faced into a sort of meditation on aging, of life as a whole thing incorporating past as well as present and Knisley’s family story. ... Despite the many travails she faced on her travels, it ends up being a pretty positive experience for all involved…including, of course, the reader.” (J. Caleb Mozzocco - Robot 6)
“Knisley is extraordinarily talented at journal comics, with clean-line, attractive figures and a good eye for summing up moments in scattered illustrations. … The overall message, that caretaking for others is an incredibly difficult, exhausting task, should not be surprising, but Knisley’s well-selected details brings it home in sympathetic pain, fatigue, and loneliness. It’s horrific but important.” (Johanna Draper Carlson - Comics Worth Reading)
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Top Customer Reviews
Knisley accompanies her grandparents on a cruise for the elderly, and Displacement is her journal about taking care of them while they travel. In her introduction, she describes her feeling “loneliness … at hiding my own terror and heartbreak at my grandparents’ decline in health”. It’s something that will or is challenging many of us, and while the details can be scary, it’s reassuring to see others going through a similar struggle.
Knisley is in her late 20s, while her grandparents Phyllis and Allen are in their early 90s. They have issues with hearing and mobility, so she has mixed emotions about the trip — joy at the chance to spend more time with them, fear and frustration at what the details of taking care of them might involve. They’re both struggling with memory issues as well (the scariest aspect of getting older). Although Knisley has plenty of her own uncertainties, she feels driven to be the organized one in the face of her grands’ confusion at travel.
Like many adults, she doesn’t see them often enough to keep up with the details of their health. Instead, visiting every few years means they seem to have declined rapidly, since she’s comparing them with memories. At one point, she draws a looming monster labeled “the horror of age, infirmity, and death in a young person’s mind”, a perfect summation.Read more ›
Lucy decides to accompany her 90-year-old grandparents on a Caribbean cruise. Getting from point A to point B is only the beginning of Lucy’s concerns, as her grandparents’ health has taken a drastic decline in the last five years. While on the ship, Lucy gets an eyeful of how difficult it can be to be a caregiver and see your loved ones’ health deteriorate. But it’s not all doom and gloom. Knisley’s grandfather is a WWII veteran and she expertly weaves in segments of his war memoir along with memories of her grandparents when they were younger.
She just keeps getting better and better! I hope she never stops drawing and writing. She takes periods of her life and creates a graphic scrapbook for the public to look in on. I wish I was that talented. Also, how amazing to create such vivid memories? If you haven’t yet read any of her graphic novels, you are in for a treat!
P. S. Her alma mater needs to add her to her wikipedia entry as notable alumni. Just saying'.
The inter generational mix was delightful, representing the generation likes and
differences. A family caring for one another as they move through time.The pictorial representation
is easy on the eye and enhanced the the journey. The author Lucy Knisley did a wonderful job of letting
us into the world of family cruising. A quick read and thoughtful reflection.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Lucy is talented. I like the inclusion of the real photo. Great story, and my nine year old is now enjoying it!Published 17 days ago by Azzia Walker
I felt "displaced" by Knisley's graphic novel. She usually is adept as showing rather than telling. Read morePublished 20 days ago by M. A. Gates
I recommend this book for anybody grappling with the struggles of taking care of an aging parent or loved one. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Joanne
Having cared for my mom during an illness that left her in a similarly dependent state, I identified so personally with this story. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Tyler
I really like Lucy's graphic novels -- except you can't call them "novels" because there's no fiction in them. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Michael K. Smith