Graphic (Novel) Memoirs
When many people think of graphic novels, they think of cartoons, superheroes, or manga. However, graphic novels cover a wide variety of subjects and themes. If you aren't interested in the themes covered in traditional comic books or manga, but would like to try reading a graphic novel, try reading these graphic novel memoirs.
**Note: Some of these are only semi-biographical. Some details may be fictionalized.
Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh
This collection includes autobiographical, illustrated essays and cartoons from Allie Brosh's popular blog as well as related new material that humorously and candidly deals with her own idiosyncrasies and battle with depression.
The Complete Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
Persepolis is the story of Marjane Satrapi's childhood and coming of age within a large and loving family in Tehran during the Islamic Revolution; of the contradictions between private life and public life in a country plagued by political upheaval; of her high school years in Vienna facing the trials of adolescence far from her family; of her homecoming--both sweet and terrible; and, finally, of her self-imposed exile from her beloved homeland.
Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel
In "Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic," Alison Bechdel charts her fraught relationship with her late father. Distant and exacting, Bruce Bechdel was an English teacher and director of the town funeral home, which Alison and her family referred to as the "Fun Home." It was not until college that Alison, who had recently come out as a lesbian, discovered that her father was also gay. A few weeks after this revelation, he was dead, leaving a legacy of mystery for his daughter to resolve.
Blankets by Craig Thompson
"Blankets" explores the sibling rivalry of two brothers growing up in the isolated country and the budding romance between two coming-of-age lovers. This is a tale of security and discovery, of playfulness and tragedy, of a fall from grace and the origins of faith.
Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant? by Roz Chast
In her first memoir, Roz Chast brings her signature wit to the topic of aging parents. This narrative, spanning the last several years of their lives and told through four-color cartoons, family photos, and documents, is as rife with laughs as it is with tears. Chast's memoir is both comfort and comic relief for anyone experiencing the life-altering loss of elderly parents.
March. Book 1; Written by John Lewis & Andrew Aydin; Illustrated by Nate Powell
"March" is a vivid first-hand account of John Lewis' lifelong struggle for civil and human rights, meditating in the modern age on the distance traveled since the days of Jim Crow and segregation. Rooted in Lewis' personal story, it also reflects on the highs and lows of the broader civil rights movement. Book One spans John Lewis' youth in rural Alabama, his life-changing meeting with Martin Luther King, Jr., the birth of the Nashville Student Movement, and their battle to tear down segregation through nonviolent lunch counter sit-ins, building to a stunning climax on the steps of City Hall.
For other Graphic Memoir suggestions, try this booklist.
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