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This woman's work
2019
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Summary
A profound and personal exploration of the intersections of womanhood, femininity, and creativity. This Woman's Work is a powerfully raw autobiographical work that asks vital questions about femininity and the assumptions we make about gender. Julie Delporte examines cultural artifacts and sometimes traumatic memories through the lens of the woman she is today--a feminist who understands the reality of the women around her, how experiencing rape culture and sexual abuse is almost synonymous with being a woman, and the struggle of reconciling one's feminist beliefs with the desire to be loved. She sometimes resents being a woman and would rather be anything but. Told through beautifully evocative colored pencil drawings and sparse but compelling prose, This Woman's Work documents Delporte's memories and cultural consumption through journal-like entries that represent her struggles with femininity and womanhood. She structures these moments in a nonlinear fashion, presenting each one as a snapshot of a place and time--trips abroad, the moment you realize a relationship is over, and a traumatizing childhood event of sexual abuse that haunts her to this day. While This Woman's Work is deeply personal, it is also a reflection of the conversations that women have with themselves when trying to carve out their feminist identity. Delporte's search for answers in the turmoil created by gender assumptions is profoundly resonant in the era of #MeToo.
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Booklist Review
In vibrant drawings accompanied by bursts of evocative prose, French comics artist Delporte illustrates the memories, dreams, and journeys that led to her current understanding of being a woman. She opens the book with her father's casually derisive definition of ""woman's work"" any job shoddily done making all that follows a defiant response. Delporte goes to Finland to research artist and writer Tove Jansson, and finds Jansson's fictional Moomins, little white trolls, everywhere. Seeing the new Star Wars movie that stars a girl-hero ends a fallow creative period: ""I think of the girls growing up today. Will anything be different for them?"" She recalls sexual trauma, a personal burden that's also ""the story of all women."" Throughout, Delporte pays tribute to artists like photographer Rinko Kawauchi and filmmaker Chantal Akerman, reproducing their work in her own style, but faithfully, and sometimes incorporates painted or scotch-taped collage elements to her illustrations. With meandering but fast-moving text and colored-pencil strokes that seem to move drawings right on the page, reading this is akin to watching an animated art film.--Annie Bostrom Copyright 2019 Booklist
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