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Commute: An Illustrated Memoir of Female Shame Hardcover – Illustrated, October 8, 2019
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About the Author
- Grade level : 9 and up
- Item Weight : 1.55 pounds
- Hardcover : 320 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1419736744
- ISBN-13 : 978-1419736742
- Dimensions : 6.25 x 1.25 x 8.25 inches
- Publisher : Harry N. Abrams; Illustrated edition (October 8, 2019)
- Reading level : 14 and up
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #765,067 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Consent is also a theme that has been brought to the forefront over the past couple of years, given the #MeToo movement and the high-profile cases in the media, political and judicial fields. How Erin describes the fine line between consent and rape is a crucial piece of the conversation that has yet to be properly addressed. It's not always so clear cut, and Erin's thorough, bird's-eye review of several years of her life shows us just how fuzzy that line can be.
I hope people take the time to read through her beautiful graphics and illustrative stories, and take away a feeling of hopefulness.
As a memoir of her personal struggle, "Commute" is ingenious. It's spare, carefully observed and responsible ... in the sense that Williams doesn't go the easy route of blame and projection but takes the much harder path of accepting responsibility for the part she played in her own subjection, whether to careless men or to alcohol. Williams' writing and illustration are both minimalist and poetic, with layers of meaning that take some time to peel back. One page in particular has no words but merely a drawing of the narrator standing alone, back to the viewer, hunched. The spine of the book bisects the figure, and when you remember that the line where the pages meet is called the "gutter," the image takes one a deeper meaning: Given that much of "Commute" is an analysis of female bodily shame, this is a brilliant moment when the illustration uses the physicality of the book itself to make the point. Though the illustration itself is minimalist, it's filled with these sorts of details that make "Commute" worth reading twice, slowly. This is one of the few books I've reread from start to finish, beginning again just as I'd turned the last page.
I'd have given it five stars if not for the fact that the final few pages of the book pull out of the narrative and start to pontificate a bit--for me personally (and entirely subjectively)--I prefer when the storytelling does the work. When the narrator has to start explaining things, then I lose some connection. But apart from that, highly recommended.