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Illustrator Leanne Shapton's debut reads like a graphic-novel-cum-children's-book: each spread includes one or more scratchy, b&w line drawings plus short, facing-page, poetryesque texts. Its content, though, leans much more toward Sex In the City than Shel Silverstein, exploring conflicting feelings aroused in women by their boyfriends' ex-lovers. It's narrated (and drawn) by a sharp but weary onlooker who is very intimate with all the principles, who seem to form a loose circle of friends. A picture depicting "one of the women Len used to know" shows a dour, hot, tight-sweater-wearing woman who is summed-up with deadpan wit: in one sentence, she's "an opinionated academic," in the next, it's revealed, with barely concealed jealousy, that "She wore braces and they looked fantastic." Shapton also captures a complex brew of nostalgia, lingering attachment, relief, rage and intoxication harbored by the men: they keep letters, hairclips, phone numbers—and are occasionally also honest with themselves. In a serial description of Margaret's adventures reading her boyfriend Scott's journals, which deatail his past relationships, "Scott described seeing Diane on the subway with another man, and feeling jealous, but sorry for the man." Diane looks very mean, and the book is pitch perfect from start to finish. (Nov.)
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Whenever I come across something of Leanne Shapton's - an illustration in The New York Times, or the wooden books she makes - I feel like I have found a hidden treasure -- Amy Sedaris The accessibility of Shapton's work is obvious...she blooms not only as an illustrator, but as an author Bookslut --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Editorial Reviews
I ordered this book after seeing a clever slide show of drawings by Leanne Shapton in the New York Times. "Was She Pretty" did not satisfy my desire for more. Read morePublished on September 2, 2011 by clutchcab
This is definitely a great book. I wish each of the relationship stories were a little longer though.Published on August 20, 2010 by Jessica
I thought that book was cute but lacking in content; the abundance of illustrations and one paragraph entries was a little off-putting and I was expecting something a bit more... Read morePublished on December 21, 2007 by Jaye