Monday, November 07, 2005

The Diary of a Teenage Girl

I finished Phoebe Gloeckner's The Diary of a Teenage Girl this evening, a hybrid of narrative and comics about a young girl, Minnie, growing up in San Francisco with her single mother and sister. It was a really unique experience. It's told in diary format, so it's not exactly like I felt like I was doing what she was doing, but yet I felt myself get really anxious when she was stressed or confused, and really mad at the people who used her. As the novel progressed and her life spiraled more and more out of control, I felt a sense of hopelessness along with her, and the depression she suffered was instilled in me. I think it's a really great work of art that can convey those feelings so absolutely upon their readers. The Diary of a Teenage Girl is very honest and almost naive in a way, as Minnie pours out her heart in detail, indiscriminate of bad/good behavior. Her choices are kind of left for the readers to make sense of and condemn or not. I really enjoyed Phoebe Gloeckner's work that was on display in Chicago at the A & D show this Fall, "Cartoonist's Eye." Gloeckner illustrates for anatomy books, and does some interesting things with her skills. But anyway, I would highly recommend this book to people. I know it's been out for awhile, so it's merely my turn to sing its praise and renew interest in this material to those who haven't jumped on the band wagon.

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