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Graphic Women: Life Narrative and Contemporary Comics (Gender and Culture Series) Paperback – November 9, 2010
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Scholarly and fascinating. (Colette Bancroft St. Petersburg Times)
The graphic novel industry isn't a boys club. (Time Out Chicago)
Graphic Women is a text that will appeal to anyone with an interest in contemporary women's literature and trauma studies, as well as those with a budding or established interest in the rich world of comics studies. (Tahneer Oksman Contemporary Women's Writing)
An absorbing book written with dedication, impressive documentation, and a very sharp eye for detail. (Mihaela Precup Biography)
...an essential book for those who are interested in autobiography, visual studies and comics in general as it initiates a beginning in the study of women's graphic memoirs. (Olga Michael Scadinavian Journal of Comic Art)
About the Author
Hillary L. Chute is Neubauer Family Assistant Professor in the English Department at the University of Chicago. Previously a Junior Fellow in literature in the Society of Fellows at Harvard University, her work has appeared in PMLA, Modern Fiction Studies, Twentieth-Century Literature, and Women's Studies Quarterly, among others. She is associate editor of Art Spiegelman's MetaMaus and has written about comics and culture for venues including the Village Voice and the Believer.
Top customer reviews
Chute describes comics artists' formal and thematic interactions as theoretically sophisticated, experimental, and accessible; an exhilarating achievement:
"[C]omics is a powerful form precisely because it is also invested in accessibility, in print. Comics works can deliberately disrupt the surface texture of their own pages--often invoking aesthetic practices of the historical avant-garde--yet they model a post-avant-garde praxis in the very fact of their popular availability, in the "mass appeal" of the medium . . . It is because comics is both a sophisticated and experimental form, and because it has a popular history, that the current work in the field feels so hopeful and invigorating. (11)"
The fact that Chute mentions "accessibility" and "experimental form," in the same breath and not as mutually exclusive concepts is a huge reason Graphic Women is such an innovative, important contribution to the growing field of comics studies.
Luckily with female created comics such as Persepolis & others becoming more prevalent, hopefully more readers will start to take notice of women as both serious & talented artists. Chute attempts (and succeeds) to draw attention to not only this, but to also showcase several extremely talented women in the field.
Chute's words are interspersed with pictures from various comics that help illustrate her points. The end result is a more powerful reading experience for anyone who is looking to broaden their reading horizons. This book would make for an excellent add on book for any art class, especially now that more colleges are offering classes based around comics as an art & history form. (I dare someone to say that you can't see history in the comics!)
There will still be some readers who might be a little disappointed that this book takes more of an informative & educational standpoint, but they should stick with it- maybe it would help them develop a deeper appreciation for what they read! This isn't a light read, so people looking for something that's just "fun" might be in for a shock when they pick this up to read.
(ARC provided by NetGalley)