Sotoleon's Reviews > La Perdida

La Perdida by Jessica Abel
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Jun 12, 07

Recommended for: people who like identity-search type novels
Read in March, 2007

Jessica Abel’s _La Perdida_ tells the story of Carla, an anglo-mexican U.S. citizen, who in an aimless sojourn in Mexico city falls into various situations and encounters a variety of people, all of which challenge her custom-made American identity. After a brief period of successfully (or so she thinks) acculturating to not only her local community (which include Marxist revolutionaries, drug dealers, and ESL students) but to Mexican society at large, an international incident occurs which ultimately destabilizes everything she has ever known about herself, as well as shatters her newfound identity as a Mexican pseudo-revolutionary.

. . . The translation of the title of the comic, roughly, means “The Lost Woman.” To find out in what ways the title resonates with the story and vise-versa and how Jessica Abel deftly uses the medium of comic art to tell the story (consider the half-page panel on page 16, which depicts Carla looking up at a blooming jacaranda tree---which she has never seen before---when she first tours Mexico city and upon viewing it, she feels that the “answer” to what she’s looking for in Mexico is provided by that tree, a promising oracle of what she thinks is to come) by juxtaposing past and present, all with the aim of telling Carla’s journey of discovery and the tragic steps she takes. As such, the beautiful and inspired rendering of Carla’s story will haunt you for days.
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