I've read a great many books about BPD recently and this one is by far the best and most helpful. It provides the clearest picture of some of the moreI've read a great many books about BPD recently and this one is by far the best and most helpful. It provides the clearest picture of some of the more prominent features of the disorder (and what the disorder is not). It offers the greatest feeling of hope and demonstrates that BPD doesn't mean crazy and doesn't mean a person will never have meaningful things in his or her life. It gave a comprehensive and clear picture of what going through dialectical behaviour therapy looks like. It provided an integral look at a spiritual skill practice that helped the author turn the corner in life and related changing oneself to growing one's being and not simply treating illness.
Most important, the book was filled with empathy and sympathy and affirmation. People with BPD are filled with shame and self-hatred and excruciating pain. A great many of the books out there (as well as web-sites) paint vicious pictures of sufferers, continue to propagate myths and stigmas and create an air of despondency about ever being well or having any fulfillment in life.
The Buddha and the Borderline felt like having a friend and companion to hold your hand while guiding you safely through a growing awareness. That precious feeling can be very very hard to come by.
Incidentally, if you are reading this review and are diagnosed BPD I cannot recommend strongly enough to AVOID any material written for clinicians--it can be stark, cruel and entirely tainted with resentment and hostility; AVOID websites that are for the purpose of supporting people who orbit around a BPD(friends, family, lovers)--these are invariably filled with vitriol, witch-hunting, tar-and-feathering and a general "run for the hills, they are monsters" kind of attitude"; and AVOID AT ALL COSTS the book, "Walking On Eggshells"--it is abusive and hateful and spiteful and probably the single biggest culprit in continuing to erroneously and cruelly portray BPDs as some kind of inhuman monsters....more
The title and austerity of the cover immediately grabbed me. The stories in this book are very brief for the most part, but linked, creating a novel-lThe title and austerity of the cover immediately grabbed me. The stories in this book are very brief for the most part, but linked, creating a novel-like text. The stories alternate between paneled stories and illustrated blocks of text in an effective way.
I found Sully's art style fluid, accomplished and appealing--it is always refreshing in the realm of autobiographical(this book blended memoir with fiction) comics to see talented cartoonists; I feel, often, the fact that it is a visual medium is overlooked by creators more concerned with their scripts than their art.
Despite feeling sometimes of a lack of depth to the stories, as i progressed through the book i did begin to feel a rapport with the narrator and an affinity for the characters. The (mostly fictional) art projects of the main characters best friend were very creative and entertaining.
I have to admit to a certain bias, having lived in and loved the neighbourhood, Mile End of Montreal, that provides the setting for the stories. His visual portrayal of this neighbourhood is brilliant and accurate. in any scene, I knew exactly where was being depicted.
I'm never sure what to call this genre--autobiography, memoir, slice of life, literary--but whatever you call it, if you enjoy that style of comic stories, this is worth a look. star ratings are a bit silly, but i would have given this a 3.5 had i been able....more
I’m a long time fan of brown’s work, and I often have a hard time putting my finger on anything justifiable about it. It’s easier to say it is badly dI’m a long time fan of brown’s work, and I often have a hard time putting my finger on anything justifiable about it. It’s easier to say it is badly drawn and overly focused on teen-age like melodrama than to argue for it being penetrating, engaging and memorable. For that reason, if I had guilty pleasures, his work would be in that bag.
But for the most part, Brown does remarkable things. He displays great humility in not justifying his protagonist. He also teases out an earnestness, a sincerity that cuts through the distanced hipster stance that might be expected among his peers. He’s never short of a humour with warmth and intimacy, never lowers himself to a cheap or bitter laugh. He allows moments to hang in the air. He allows things to be unsaid. He’ll take a risk trying to convey pages in a single glance. And as portrayed, he’s danmned likable.
All that said, Little Things was tremendously disappointing. I felt I had been conned into purchasing cast off half starts. Meaningful silence was replaced with empty moments. Carefully ugly drawings were replaced with overworked pages depicting nothing. Stories that end hung in a precious moment were replaced with fitful cut offs that made no sense and engendered no feeling....more
Funny Misshapen Body delivered not just the Brown I love, but a more mature and reflective Brown. A balance of stories, in his usual anti-chronologicaFunny Misshapen Body delivered not just the Brown I love, but a more mature and reflective Brown. A balance of stories, in his usual anti-chronological way that swirl together to create a full novelistic image of people, places and developments, working with new themes, and yet tied to the old and magnifying the scope of his storytelling.
There’s also a greater range in the artwork, combining the early simple scrawl with the burdened later ink. We see the rest of Brown’s protagonist’s life (I realize that is cumbersome, but I differentiate between an author and his alter ego): his childhood experiences, his life with art, his schooling, a troubled medical history, his jobs, his solo adventures. We see the Brown who isn’t simply hung up on a girl. And it is captivating.
All of brown’s stories always have to do with a shortlist of topics—loneliness, connection, love affairs, struggle and confusion, strife and understanding. His recent stories paint a vivid portrait of the young man as an artist rather than the artist as a young man and that has added a dimension to the tale.
Eileen Kane is a professional anthropologist, with the fieldwork to prove it, but she made her mark in the world educating the rest of us shmucks, notEileen Kane is a professional anthropologist, with the fieldwork to prove it, but she made her mark in the world educating the rest of us shmucks, not the cognoscenti. I think that was probably more valuable to us.
Her memoir of her first foray into fieldwork is replete with humour, detail and wisdom.
She spins the tale of a young female anthropologist venturing out with insecurity into a male dominated world, in 1964, right after her marriage, risking everything, including the cross looks from folk in her home town.
I am not an anthropologist, but if I was, I would prescribe this book as a primer to let people know how different the classroom is from the sloppy mess of real life. Even for the anthro students, it paints a vivid picture of the changes going on in that field at the time. She is sent to catalogue a language, make a census, and categorize a people. Instead, she plunges deep into the qualitative world of understanding a people.
I will not reveal anything of her journey here, except to say that like any transformative journey, trickster was along side. Here, you can just taste the beginning.
She arrives in a tiny impoverished town, to interview and catalogue the Paiute Indians. She may as well have parachuted. She is on her own, her letters of passage are lost, or hidden by mischievous helpers. The only thing provided by her university is a vehicle, and they provide a labeled police car. Very useful in earning the trust of her subjects.
No one adopts her in the cinematic fashion. Everyone toys with her, and the children follow her and ply her with lies. The elderly tempt her with hints of history and language, constantly delaying so as to retain the company and amusement. They mislead her and send her on dead end hunts with their mytho tales.
And there is no malice. The narrative weaves itself into a world where everyone plays at being simple country folk while all having, if not nefarious agendas, complicated and playful agendas. They are heartfelt in wanting to help her, but it is the definition of help that is in question. They dole out lore ever so slowly, as if enjoying her hunt. They delight when she sweats about not being able to get her answers.
Kane uses the powerful tool of reflection to juxtapose the history of her own colourful town, and her emerging feminist awakenings with the stories she learns in the dusty town.
I cannot attest to whether she is a good anthropologist, but I can say she is a master of layering the complexity of experience and fully imbuing it with the mighty spirit of the trickster. In this volume we get an ethnography of the Paiute, a coming of age tale, a story of feminist coming out, mischievous and magical tales of coyote, and a sober reflection of lessons learned young as reviewed by an elder....more
poignant. subdued. restrained yet emotive. it is so difficult to know what to say about lemire's work. he understands art telling the story. he is a mpoignant. subdued. restrained yet emotive. it is so difficult to know what to say about lemire's work. he understands art telling the story. he is a master of line and brush stroke and negative space.
despite having few words, it takes a long time to read one of his stories, because you are drawn into the page, into haunted eyes, into wispy limbs, into gaunt countryside. into people's dreams and despairs. into everyday moments made large.
he makes blunt stoic people tender. he takes almost cliche aspects of life and shows you a unique moment demonstrating why it is universal.