Jennifer's Reviews > The Impostor's Daughter: A True Memoir

The Impostor's Daughter by Laurie Sandell
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Feb 19, 10

Read in February, 2010

I know I've got a gender bias, but I think women are the masters of autobiographical comics. I know there's Jeffrey Brown and even R. Crumb, but didn't Aline Kominsky-Crumb set the whole genre in motion? This graphic memoir reminds me of Cancer Vixen in tone and art, but channels Fun House for me in Sandell's search to understand herself by understanding her father. I love her honesty and humor and her struggle to know herself, which I think is what makes women's autobiographical comics unique. Women can see their lives and past with some self-deprecation and nostalgia, but always with an ability to capture the emotions laden in their memories. Sandell shows in pictures and words how she loved and hated her father and explores her life from childhood through later recovery. Maybe it's the social worker in me, but I really appreciate her honest contention for self knowledge. Coming out of a two-day training on drugs and alcohol, I was also impressed with Sandell's framing her struggles with ambien, alcohol, and her family in a substance abuse model of addiction and codependency. Reading her descriptions of her father I'd lean more in exploring some personality disorder diagnoses, but that's just me. I've made the book sound very serious, but it's delivery is light, funny, and very readable. After all, I'm a sucker for pages with bright colors.
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John E. Branch Jr. I really liked this book too, and was glad to read your review. For that matter, I not only liked the book but also admired it, and the author; her "honest contention for self-knowledge," as you put it, is something I value in people. Men (I can say because I'm a man) are often slugs about such things, seeming to leave it to women to understand them.

I kind of think I should read Cancer Vixen, but it'll have to be a while. I've got a stack of other books waiting for me.

Thank you!


Jennifer I'm glad you liked my review. I write these more for myself, but it is always nice to see someone enjoying them too. You should try Make Me a Woman by Vanessa Davis. Wonderful art with nice autobiographical pieces.


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