Jessica Severs's Reviews > American Widow

American Widow by Alissa Torres
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Sep 11, 08

bookshelves: graphic-novels
Read in September, 2008, read count: 1

To grieve the loss of a loved one is difficult enough, but to grieve in the world’s spotlight seems an unfathomable trial.

Writer Alissa Torres’ husband started his dream job Sept. 10, 2001, at the World Trade Center. The next day, he was gone. Torres was seven months pregnant. “American Widow” chronicles her despair, struggle and determination, holding nothing back. At times, it’s excruciating to read, because this is her life, and you feel it on every page, the unfiltered, raw emotion.

The artwork never overshadows the words, providing the perfect vessel for Torres’ story.

“American Widow” doesn’t bang any drums for patriotism, sympathy or a cause, either. After the initial outpouring of support, greed and bureaucracy began to choke the good will. Torres details the Red Cross’ incompetence at distributing funds, the government’s heartless “economic value” for the deceased, charities’ use of victims for publicity and the public’s compassion turning into suspicion and scorn.

Each challenge, she rises above, not to be a hero, but because she has to. Forget politicians, TV tributes or 21-gun salutes: Torres and artist Sungyoon Choi craft an honest, quiet memorial for a very personal loss felt round the world.
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