Growing up on the Aegean Coast, Ozge loved the sea and imagined a life of adventure while her parents and society demanded predictability. Her dad expected Ozge, like her sister, to become an engineer. She tried to hear her own voice over his and the religious and militaristic tensions of Turkey and the conflicts between secularism and fundamentalism. Could she be a scuba diver like Jacques Cousteau? A stage actress? Would it be possible to please everyone including herself? In her unpredictable and funny graphic memoir, Ozge recounts her story using inventive collages, weaving together images of the sea, politics, science, and friendship.
▪︎درباره کتاب: خاطرات مصور ازگه سامانچی از کودکی تا جوانی در ترکیه.
▪︎چیزی که فکر میکردم: فکر میکردم سفرنامه به ترکیهس مثل بقیه سفرنامههای مصور نشر اطراف ولی نبود!
▪︎چیزی که تجربه کردم:
خیلی دوسش داشتم! اولا که سفرنامه نیست، و بیشتر از اینکه از فرهنگ و... بگه از تاریخ، سیاست و عقاید ترکیه و مردمانش میگه. کتاب از کودکی ازگه خانم شروع میشه و یه داستان مصور کیوته، اما بعدش که به نوجوانی و جوانی میرسه باید بگم در کنار کیوتیش واقعا قابل تامل و حتی غصهدار میشه!
دوما ترکیهی قدیم، ایران فعلیه. چیزهایی که تو کتاب میخونیم احتمالا همگی تجربه کردیم:
تورم و اقتصاد مریضی که افراد عادی رو فلج میکنه و آدمهای خاصی رو ثروتمندتر. سیستم آموزشی غلط که رویاهای بچهها رو میکشه. کنکور و رقابتِ شدید و دیوانهوار برای قبول شدن در بهترین مدارس و دانشگاهها که دانشآموزها رو منزوی و تکبعدی میکنه. نگاه سنتی و تعصبی به دین، زن، تبعیض و... خلاصه که همهچیز توی این کتاب برای من یه حس آشناپنداری دردناکی داشت. و صادقانه بگم حتی آخر کتاب اشکم در مورد...
▪︎ چیزی که یاد گرفتم: برای رویاهات بجنگ، حتی اگه فکر میکنی خیلی دیر شده.
▪︎دیگه چی: طرح جلد کتاب رو خیلی دوست دارم، خاکستری بودن دنیای بزرگسالی در مقابل دنیای رنگی کودکی. خیلی حرف توشه، خیلی درد توشه...
▪︎به کیا پیشنهاد میکنم: به همه! چون سبکش رو دوست داشتم، و ارزش خوندن داره به نظرم اما به دو دسته بیشتر پیشنهاد میکنم: اول اون دسته از پدر و مادرهای ایرانی که خوشبختی و آینده بچههاشون رو توی دکتر و مهندس شدن میبینن. دوم همه دانشآموزهایی که تو این نظام آموزشیِ [بووووق] درس میخونن.
▪︎سخن آخر از زبان کتاب:
انگار زمین زیر پامون خالی شده بود. هیچ عدالتی وجود نداره. هیچ قانونی وجود نداره. پول برنده میشه. شما فقیر هستین. ما هیچ کاری نمیتونین بکنین. شما هیچی نیستین. شما بازنده هستین. شما همیشه بازنده میمونید.
تو ذهن بابام تنها راهی که من و خواهرم بتونیم آینده خوبی داشته باشیم این بود که تو یه دانشگاه معروف مهندسی یا پزشکی بخونیم، یه شغل خوب پیدا کنیم، یه عالمه پول در بیاریم و قدرتمند بشیم.
بابا: باید درستون خیلی خوب باشه. وگرنه در آینده یا به ما وابسته می شین یا به شوهرتون. شوهرتون بهتون بکننکن میکنه و شما دیگه آزادی ندارید.
ازگه [تو فکرش]: آزادیم رو از دست بدم؟ عمرا!
بابا: تو این کشور اگه یه زن باشی و شغلی هم نداشته باشی یعنی صفری، هیچی. هیچی نیستی!
Dare to Disappoint: Growing up in Turkey felt like it should have been a longer tale. Özge Samanci’s early years are richly detailed; as the protagonist ages, though, the granularity of the narrative stretches out, with discrete events replaced by more overarching sketches of longer periods of time and emotion. This may simply be an artifact of memory: disjointed and episodic recollections of early years giving way to more comprehensive understandings of later phases of life. This flow breaks down, though, near the end of the book when Özge decides to break with her and her father’s expectations to pursue a career more meaningful to her. She reaches her decision point, but the audience is left with an inspiring moral on the virtue of risk-taking, but little evidence apart from the book in their hands as to how it unfolded for the protagonist. The narrative is snappy and funny, with an informed but child’s-eye view of the dynamics of Turkish society in the waning days of the Cold War. Quite interesting are the hints and mentions of events and dynamics which go unexplored here, but which tie into well-known historical and current events: Samanci’s elementary-school version of Turkish independence, featuring a map with a purple blot labelled “Armenian,” a discussion of anti-leftist and -Kurdish censorship sprees by authorities, and a confrontation with a devout Muslim student illustrating the relatively elite, western, and minority perspective of the author’s experience. The quirks and strange perceptions of childhood are brought to life by Samanci’s fluid line, spare watercolor, and charming mixed media collages at the opening of most chapters. This is a graphic novel with precious few hard-edged panels. Scenes take place in isolated vignettes floating in whitespace or splashed across an entire page, but never does a full page of conventional rectangles appear. Never does this hinder the flow of the story; rather, while Samanci’s figures and faces are simple and expressive, her layouts add dimension and energy, practically dragging the eye across the varied spreads.
Bırak Üzülsünler, çevrilmesini heyecanla beklediğim bir kitaptı. İletişim'den çıkacağını ve fiyatının bu olacağını tahmin etsem (49 TL gibi bir rakamdan bahsediyoruz) beklemez, alır okurdum. Neyse, Bırak Üzülsünler, 80 sonrası doğanlar için "bizi bize anlatan" bir hikaye. Özge Samancı'nın hayatında çoğumuza tanıdık gelecek o kadar şey var ki... Bunun yanı sıra renk seçimleri ve çizimler de oldukça başarılı.
Ama, tabii ki ama olacaktı, bölümler arasında kopukluk, son kısmın aceleye gelmesi gibi unsurların yanı sıra birazcık derine indiğinizde Bırak Üzüls��nler'in sadece başka bir "kişisel grafik roman" olduğunu görüyorsunuz. En klişe kendini bulma hikayelerinden biri daha. Geçen -sanırım Goodreads'te- okuduğum bir yorumu aklıma getirdi: Bu kadar hikaye ve olanak varken çizerler neden birbirinin aynısı kişisel hikayelerini anlatıp duruyor?
Evet, aynı soruyu ben de soruyorum. Özellikle de o kişisel hikaye derine inemiyor, klişe yumaklarından ibaret kalıyorsa. Yoksa geçenlerde okuduğum Sıradan Zaferler de, Parantez de had safhada kişisel ve iyi hikayelerdi. Bırak Üzülsünler'den ise yabancılar için "Türk Eğitim Sistemi" tanıtımını, bizim için "aşinalığı" çıkarırsanız geriye pek bir şey kalmıyor maalesef. Bu açıdan kıyaslandığı Persepolis'e göre de zayıf kalmış. Yine de -fiyatından gözünüz korkmadıysa- keyifle okuyabilir, kendinizi mutlu ve iyi hissedebilirsiniz. 3/5
Bir İzmirli ve Boğaziçi matematik bölümü mezunu biri olarak kendimden çok şey bulduğum bir kitap olduğu için biraz yanlı bir değerlendime olabilir :) Bir de Amerika'da uzun bir süre yaşamış ve benzer şeyleri Türkiye'li olmayan arkadaşlarıma anlatmaya çalışmış biri olarak beni rahatsız etmedi ama yazarın konumu itibariyle, kitabını "Amerikalılara-anlatır-gibi" şekillendirmiş olması, belki Türkiyeli okurlar için bir handikap oluşturabilir. Öncelikle gerçekten çok titiz çalışılmış, çok açık yüreklilikle yazılmış bir kitap olduğunu söylemeliyim. Her bir karesinde çok büyük emek var. Bence bunda matematik okumasının da etkisi var :) Özge Samancı, bireysel hikayesini anlatırken, hem bir kızkardeşlik hikayesi, hem memur bir ailenin hikayesi, hem arkadaşlık, hem de 80'lerde Türkiye'de öğrencilik yapmanın hikayesini anlatıyor. Çoğumuzun yaşadığı ve bir çoğumuzun karşı duramadığı bu sistemden, ailesinin ve toplumun etkisinden sıyrılıp nasıl kendi sesini bulduğunu anlatıyor. Okurken sık sık gözlerimin dolduğu, yer yer ağladığım bir kitap olsa da, bu kitabı eğlenceli ve cesaret verici olarak hatırlayacağım.
فکر میکردم کتاب کودکه و گوگولی مگولی. ولی اینطور نیست. یه جورایی تاریخ اجتماعی ترکیهست، که یک نفر از دید خودش، در خلال کودکی تا جوانی خودش، داره شرحش میده. تلخه؛ ولی خیلی قشنگ روایت شده. خیلی همذاتپنداری میکردم باهاش. خیلی میفهمیدمش. و خوندنش حداکثر دو سه ساعت زمان میبره، پس این لطف رو به خودتون بکنید و بخونیدش. لذت خواهید برد.🥺💙
A graphic memoir about growing up in Turkey by now Chicagoan artist Samanci. I knew very little about Turkey so was interested. Also, it begs comparisons with Persepolis, as we get history of Turkey and the extent to which totalitarianism has affected its people. It sure affected Samanci, who was influenced by her uncle not to be a cog in the machine. It doesn't spare us some violence, so I wouldn't say its primary audience is necessarily kids, though it is a growing up story.
Her stern Dad wants her to be an engineer, but she chooses math, which she is not so good at. Most of the book is about her learning to be herself and getting in trouble in school, and failing at math. It's not particularly about her being good at anything. There's no references to any artistic talent, really, until the very end, so that is surprising. Why be an artist? It's typical for people to start out doing things their parents want them to do to be successful, and many people just do those jobs, but it's not like it's this budding thing she always knew was in her heart. This part is Dare to Disappoint, the failure years.
After essentially failing at math, it's almost as if we are ready for part II, the artist part, or for her to do something other than memoir with her comics art.
I liked the art work, it's very attractively laid out and colored, and I thought as a memoir it was solid, straightforward, likable, with very few surprises, stylistically or narratively. Still, I look forward to more work from Samanci.
How much do outsiders know about the country of Turkey? Here, a professor from Northwestern University tells what it was like to grow up in Turkey. She follows her early life, starting in 1981 (before she started school), and ends during college as she looks toward a professional path. Graphic novels are an evocative medium for memoir, and Samanci uses the strengths of visual storytelling to great effect. Her thesis was on using comics in the digital context, and this is clearly a thoughtful work. Her own drawings are cartoonish in a slightly silly way, at first, and she integrates those drawings with elements of collage. There are no panel borders – instead, the images float on white pages. She uses color sparingly -- for instance, to make her blonde head stand out in a crowd scene – and keeps the pages alive with a wide variety of layouts. Her story is a very personal one, in the vein of Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis and Zeina Abirached’s A Game for Swallows, but she does take time to reflect on some of the larger issues affecting her world, such as governmental elections and the educational system. This is an important story, and one which will be essential in public libraries, particularly given its relevance to current headlines. In the school context, it may be best suited to high school libraries, due to some of the author’s experiences and the scope of this story. \\professional review for another source
The Personal Touch: Samanci is just a few years older than I am, so reading her story was particularly poignant for me. She also doesn't always thrive in school (which may or may not have to do with the school system in Turkey), and that was illuminating to watch, especially with the focus on her school experiences. She talks a lot about the reverence for one historical figure in Turkish history, and how that influenced her life - he was like a god.
As far as trigger issues go, there is an attempted rape scene, and it has pretty major life ramifications for her, but the scene itself is relatively tame. So there's that.
I had a hard time with the aesthetic at first, until I really sunk into the story -- and flipping back through it, I'm now struck by the beauty and creativity in her art. I love that she includes photos of actual ephemera from her life (transcripts, etc) in the vein of Middle School is Worse than Meatloaf. Her chapter openings are knockouts.
I'm very curious about what it was like for her to transition from this story to amerika. I hope she writes a sequel about that.
اعتراف می کنم به تاریخ معاصر ترکیه (این مدعی احیای حکومت عثمانی) تابحال فکر هم نکرده بودم. ترکیه یک همسایه بود که لباس های خوبی داشت و سریال زیاد می ساخت. اصلا تصور نمی کردم می تواند تاریخ و ماجرایی هم داشته باشد. در ذهنم ترکیه بعد از فروپاشی عثمانی مستقیم به دوره حکومت اردوغان می رسید و تابحال به فاصله زیاد این دو تاریخ فکر نکرده بودم. وقتی «بزرگ شدن در ترکیه» به دستم رسید ذوق زده شدم. اول به خاطر اینکه روایتی مصور بود، دوم به این خاطر که احتمالاً می توانستم با خواندنش به گوشه ای از جهان سرک بکشم.
ترکیه در سال های دهه 80 میلادی شباهت زیادی با ایران در همان سال ها دارد. مدرسه های شلوغ، وسایل یکسان به خاطر سیاست های تولیدی، تلویزیون های تک کاناله و همه چیزهایی که ما در دهه شصت ایران تجربه کرده ایم. کتاب نثر روان و طنزی دارد و تصاویرش گرچه ساده ولی جالب اند. و آنجایی برایم جذاب تر شد که نویسنده قسمت هایی از سیاست ترکیه را در ضمن داستانِ زندگی خودش آورد. مشخص است که ازگه سامانچی در خانواده ای سیاسی و غیرمذهبی بزرگ شده است. همان طور که خودش در کتاب می گوید پدر و مادرش گرایش چپ داشتند، گرچه با خشونت مخالف بودند. خود او هم از وضعیت سیاسی ترکیه و رویکرد یک بام و دوهوای آن نسبت به دین دل خوشی ندارد. هر چه کتاب جلوتر می رود و ازگه بزرگ تر می شود و اظهارات سیاسی اجتماعی اش هم بیشتر می شود. نمی توانم بگویم نگاهش تا چه اندازه درست و تا چه اندازه مغرضانه است. چون همان طور که گفتم این کتاب اولین مواجهه من با تاریخ ترکیه بود. اما «بزرگ شدن در ترکیه» فارغ از روایت تاریخی اش از دو جهت برای من ارزشمند بود، اول از این جهت که خواندن روایت جوانی دیگران ارزشمند است چون می فهمیم در دنیای مدرن تنها ما نیستیم که با مشکلات دست و پنجه نرم می کنیم. جوان های کشورهای دیگر هم با کنکور و ورود به دانشگاه درگیرند، با آینده و هدفشان درگیرند، با اطرافیانی که می خواهند مسیر آن ها را کانال کشی کنند درگیرند و این ها زیاد ربطی به شخصیت یا حتی تاریخ و جغرافیا ندارد. در قسمتی از داستان وقتی ازگه می گوید می خواهد بازیگر شود تصویری از اطرفیانش وجود دارد که یک صدا می گویند:«اول یک دانشگاه معروف قبول شو بعد بازیگری را هم در کنارش ادامه بده» جمله ای که همه مان در زندگی بارها شنیده ایم. نکته دیگری که کتاب را ارزشمند می کند این است که می فهمیم آن تجربیاتی که تصور می کنیم فقط برای ما و کشورما ست چه قدر گسترده تر بوده و با همسایگانمان چه خاطرات مشترکی داریم. تجربه هایی که اغلب به آن توجه نمی کنیم و تصور می کنیم کشورها از ابتدا همین وضعیت سال 2021 را داشته اند.
نام کتاب به خوبی گویای محتوای آن است و گمان می کنم کسانی که به کتاب هایی از جنس سفرنامه و زندگی نامه علاقه دارند حتما از آن لذت خواهند برد. از طرفی مصور بودنش لذت خواندنش را دو چندان می کند.
Dare to Disappoint by Ozge Samanci is perhaps the quintessential tale of growing up in the 80s and 90s in Turkey in a middle class family. There is so much here that resonates with the experiences of many Turks who grew up in Izmir and Istanbul, went to cram school on the weekends in preparation for the national entrance exams, tried so hard to fulfill the expectations of many middle class families of parents working for the government, who, unable to bestow wealth to their children, insisted for them to be "good students" so that they could have a degree nobody could then take away from them and therefore a good future. The story is almost too familiar, down to Samanci's parents who work for the government (so did mine), her uncle who was politically active and a bit of a good-for-nothing youth (so was one of my uncles), the political climate of the 80s and 90s playing cruel tricks on the middle class and their aspirations, even her obsession with Jacques Cousteau (I was obsessed with him, too!)... Yet, Samanci makes the story her own, with her quirky childhood, her numerous attempts and failures to live up to the boring expectations of her parents, her struggle to be like her older sister... She also has a great eye for the things that are uniquely captivating about the Turkish childhood, like the ruler with shapes (including the unmistakable profile of Ataturk!!! I loved my ruler with its Ataturk bust, and had forgotten all about it until I read Dare to Disappoint.)
Some of the issues Samanci raises, the great divide between the conservative Muslim boys in school and the liberal girls, the economic hardships of the ever-poorer and smaller middle class, the wild political swings allowed by a not-so-solid democratic system, are some of the hard truths of Turkey. Samanci does a good job of explaining things in a way that anyone can understand them, making the memoir all the more real and universal.
At this time, Samanci's memoir might be chronicling a vanishing type of childhood and young adulthood (or not, hard to say, but the trendline doesn't have an encouraging slope...) It's a good primer to those who wish to understand the complicated past and convoluted ways of Turkey at the end of the past century, which may help understand what is happening today.
Recommended for those who like binoculars, plastic rulers, stuffed potatoes, and for those who hate national exams and cram school.
Here is the thing: Masterly drawn, and beautifully written, the book leaves you with a sense of incompleteness and a delusion that it should have been longer, braver and fuller, a much intended delusion; and you are hanging in time and space aching to find closure, only to realize it's the only thing the book hasn't offered you: Just like this country, Turkey. And you think, just for a second that this was an error, a defect the writer had come to in her writing process, and that second ends with a painful smile on your face only to show you that this had been the idea all along. I am incomplete, I've always felt incomplete, and this feeling I've been left with when the book ended, this was just the thing the book tried to achieve all along, and knowing its reader, it didn't take much to have done it. Because this is the only thing this country makes you, "incomplete." Well done Özge Samancı, the joke was on us all along. You truly are an artist.
This graphic novel is well done, but I'll have to send it up to the middle school library as it is too young adult for elementary students. Ozge Samanci's minimalist illustrations and dry sense of humor make this an excellent look into what it was like growing up in Turkey. The heart of the story is about Ozge trying to figure out what she wants to do in life and the difficulty of trying to live up to her father's expectations and imitate her brilliant older sister. She recounts the political and cultural upheavals growing up and the dangerous culture she lived in. A near rape, prejudice from extreme ideologies at school, and fierce competition of trying to make it into prestigious schools make this a page turner. Ozge never takes herself too seriously though and the humor and lightness balance out the dark incidents. A terrific read.
Ozge grew up in a middle class family with two parents that were educators and nonreligious. They raised Ozge to be strong and wanted her to have a good job. Getting into the top high schools and universities was competitive and difficult. Ozge chronicles this difficult journey that show flaws in an educational system many will relate too. Her path of self-discovery follows first in her sister's footsteps and she fails, next she tries to follow her father's path and fails, and last she tries to follow her own heart and fails. She never gives up and finds, with the help of family and some loyal friends that help tutor her through her classes so she can pass, that she is able to discover her passion for drawing. It is the failures and resilience to learn from her mistakes that are a part of Ozge's journey of discovering what she wants to do with her life - something we all can relate to. She is one brave person that is easy to cheer on as she works through issues.
The author does a good job explaining the different leaders of the country and how they affected her country. A funny bird crops up on many of these pictures with some wisecrack comment. She shows the leaders saying one thing but doing the opposite in private while the bird hangs upside down on the president's speech bubble saying, "Liar." Later, she's trying to get the courage to tell her mom about her teacher's corporal punishment of all the students in the classroom and the bird is making light of the incident. Ozge is a strong-willed girl willing to stand-up for herself. She's a bit of a loose cannon as a young kid and her yellow hair that shoots out all over the place reflects her high spirits. There are pictures of her friends with rock star posters in their bedroom and Ozge has Jacques Cousteau because she's going to be a famous diver. Later, she humorously "talks" to Poster Jacques trying to sort out what she wants to be in life. The page where she is suspended for speaking her mind at school and criticizing the play chosen for the theater production is a hoot. The close-up photo of the suspension letter with her miniaturized and sliding down its folded edge off the page with the bird and its speech bubble saying, "Bye," is one of my favorites. I'm sure you'll find your favorites too.
Özge arkadaşım olsa da sarılsam ona, 'bende çoğu kez vaz geçtim.'' deseydim. Gerçi aynı kıtada yaşıyoruz belki bir yerlerde denk geliriz. Ne kadar güzel bir çocukluk, aynı dönemde yaşayan çoğumuzun ortak geçmişi aslında anlattığı. 'Seni sevdiğimden kızıyorum.' diyen despot baba, 'Aman ağzımızın tadı kaçmasın.' diyen anne, babasının sesini kendi sesi sanan bir abla ve her dayı gibi avare ama en mutlusu olan bir dayı. Siyasetin can aldığı, tek kanallı zamanlarda geçen çocukluğuna pencere açıyor. Ellerinin yeteneği her anısını görünür yapıyor. Ah o kendine çizdiği saç ne güzel.
1. LOVED THIS BOOK!!!!! 2. The name is everything. Dare to disappoint. YES! Do what is best for you and follow what you want from this short and wild life. Don't let the naysayers stop you. 3. She went to the grocery store by herself when she was 6 years old??!! 4. When Ozge just strolled into Pelin's classroom, it was the cutest thing ever. 5. I learned a lot of history from this book because it forced me to Google the political climate during this time period. 6. Another cute moment is when Ozge walked by a picture of Ataturk in just her underwear and it had a thought bubble, "I should have put on my skirt to walk in front of Ataturk. I am sorry. I am sorry." 7. I loved the story about the vase that appeared on the TV when there was a technical difficulty and Ozge says, "When things get hard to deal with, why can't that historic vase appear in real life?" 8. Ozge's drawings of her in the swimming mask were so cute!!! 9. 63 kids in one classroom?!?!?!!? I'm a teacher. I would die. 10. Peeing in their pants at the entrance exams is some kind of hard core. 11. At the Istanbul Ataturk Science High School, I love that there was a hole in the fence that Ozge would sneak out of. 12. The teachers waking them up by clanging on the lockers. "GIT UUUUP! GIRLS, GIT UP!" hahahah 13. Yeah, I wanted to punch her professors in the face. "Crossing legs for women is just not healthy. It stops blood circulation. You nails cannot breath if you put on nail polish." 14. Her almost getting raped made me gasp when I was reading this. 15. When I was in college I stayed during the summers and went through all of the dorm rooms and got everyone's leftovers just like Ozge. 16. I love the conversations that Ozge has with her Captain Cousteau poster. I wish I had a poster that brought wisdom. 17. She made a cartoon of people not following their dreams for various reasons: too old, retirement, can't take risks, what if I fail. WE ONLY HAVE THIS LIFE. Go for things.
I love the mischievous, rebellious sensibility that came through the pages early on in this book, much through the great relationship between Ozge and her sister and her parents. There is a lot to be said for the way these relationships are sketched out, and for the pluck of Ozge's young self. But somehow the book never quite came together for me. There were a lot of historical and relational moments I appreciated, but just as the Ozge of the book is trying to find herself, the book itself seems to be trying to find its voice and rhythm throughout.
This book was more sentimentally rated as a 5 - the colorful innocence in Ozge's imagery, as well as the acute awareness of self in the context of family and society, were marvelously poignant and led me to realize more about my own self.
Ozge adroitly illustrated the shifting sands of identity and stability as we navigate life. She bravely showed her vulnerability, and it made the reader - this reader - braver too.
Is this not the purpose of art? To touch another's soul, and to purpose enlightenment?
Dare to Disappoint is a graphic novel that speaks about the author's struggle as a young girl in Turkey during the 80's to live up to her parents' and society's high expectations with her education and career. Throughout her adolescence and college years, she comes up short to her goals, even with great determination and work. Ultimately, though, she realizes that she only went through this difficult path to please her father, and she should finally consider what she wants. She dared to disappoint.
However, the way the novel is structured places most of its time on showing the amount of pressure that was put on her and her beating herself down, rather than the method through which she gained her liberation. There are a couple of pages of her internal struggle, personified through her dialogue with Jacques Cousteau, but it has a very generic message.
She says at the end of the book, upon finishing her degree, that by failing and struggling through her mathematics course, she learned how to learn and was able to pursue anything she wanted. I found that fascinating, but no explanation or comment was offered on the subject. I would argue that this would be the most important part of the book, given the intended message.
This graphic memoir is not labeled as such, but would work really well for kids, especially girls, fourteen and up.
It's the coming of age story about a young Turkish girl who struggles to reconcile her dreams with those her father has for her. Can she be both an engineer and a scuba diver like Jacques Cousteau? It's a delightful tale of family, friendship, and self-discovery, and while it touches on some of the social, political, and religious issues of the day, it does so lightly, and readers not familiar with the backdrop can read up on the events mentioned. When there are so many voices telling you how act, and who to be, how does one have the courage to listen to her inner voice? Can she please everyone she loves without making herself miserable?
I really liked the art, the use of collages, and the fact that unlike most graphic novels, there aren't many rectangular boxes in this one. The whimsical style and light watercolors work really well for this memoir. Like memory itself, there's a bit of disjointedness, but I was rooting for young Ozge the entire time. A lovely, and quite feminist read, that I'll be putting in the hands of my nieces before too long.
A great book about growing up in Turkey in the 80s, the (kind of nationalistic) school education, the division between religious and non-religious people and the trouble of what to do in your life, with a society that only accepts engineers. Apart from the religious stuff, it all felt so familiar with growing up in Greece.
Graphic memoir in which the author narrates her circuitous, arduous path to finding herself and becoming an artist.
She begins her story at six years old and describes periods of economic unrest that cause her parents to impel her toward "safe" fields of study: math and engineering. Little Ozge does not have the soul of a STEM professional, but she desperately wants to validate the immense sacrifices her parents made for her education, and deprivation has taught her the value of financial independence. What is a natural artist to do?
I love Samanci's panel-less illustration. It's not much more complex than stick figures, but she imbues an abundance of thinking and feeling into her characters. The innocence and ebullience of her younger self, the tension her father has over their future, the antipathy some of her fundamentalist teachers and classmates display towards girls, her liberal uncle's laid back good cheer, her mother's calm optimism. It is impossible not to root for this little girl.
Over the course of the book, Ozge: --Begins to learn Turkey's history from the Ottoman Empire on and wrestles with her personal and national identity. Her liberal uncle challenges her youthful love of Ataturk.*** --Discovers what it means to be poor. --Works extremely hard for a degree she does not want --Survives a terrifying rollover in an overcrowded bus. --Survives a vicious assault in a park. --Learns how to learn and how to labor for something. --Finally comes to terms with her artistic bent and lack of ease with math despite her math degree.
***I did find myself wanting more attention paid to the history and political development of Turkey during the period covered, something in the vein of Persepolis. Perhaps that's not a fair expectation of such a personal story.
I know so very little about Turkey, so this graphic memoir of a girl growing up there was an education. The culture and politics are very different from the U.S., but a universal is the love between parent and child and the desire to please.
Eğer 80'li yıllarda doğmuş ve 90'larda okul hayatı yaşamış iseniz bu kitapta kendinizden çok fazla şey bulabilirsiniz. Orta gelirli bir ailenin çocuğu olarak doğmuş, iyi bir okulu, garanti bir işi, sevilen şeylerin hobi olarak yapılmasını savunan ailelerin ortasında kendi yolunu zorluklarla da olsa çizmeyi başarmış biri olarak Özge Samancı'nın hikayesini pek sevimli çizgiler eşliğinde okuyoruz.
I kept hesitating between 3 and 4 stars for this rather short autobiography in comic book format. It's fun, it's engaging, and it's a snapshot of Turkey a couple of decades ago, but it feels less than fleshed out. As Russel Taylor rightly points out in his review, this feels like it should have been a longer tale.
The art itself is very simple, but compelling. Scenes are drawn as if they were a teen's doodles - characters are reduced to the bare minimum, and there are few traditional panels, most scenes floating on a blank page; still, they're effective and expressive.
The story is, alas, also reduced to the bare minimum, to the point where it's hard to really understand characters beyond their jobs or academic achievements. Even the main character feels a bit distant, and it's hard to feel who she is beyond the indecision and drifting regarding what she wants to do in life.
Regarding Turkey itself, there are some interesting details that feel oddly familiar if you've grown up with tales of communism.
For those who have read Marjane Statrapi's "Persepolis", "Dare to Disappoint" will feel familiar, from the stripped-down art to the theme of a girl growing up in the oppressive atmosphere of a Muslim country in turmoil.
Enjoyable graphic memoir from a lady my exact age who grew up in Turkey. I was super interested to find out that in her country, girl-hating nerds manifested as conservative Islamists. They love to argue over minutia, prefer the company of one another, and wear transitions lenses. THE SAME.
The art is really charming too. Give this to a teen who is studying way too hard and not enjoying it.
خیلی وقت بود میخواستم این کتاب رو بخونم و خوشحالم بالاخره موفق شدم. روایت جالب و گیرایی داره. ممکنه اوایلش کودکانه به نظر برسه، اما تا آخر اینطور نیست. عجیبه که گذشتهی بقیه آیندهی ماست... یک میلیون لیر برای خرید نان! چقدر مونده تا یک میلیون ریال برای خرید نان؟