Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “I'm Supposed to Protect You from All This” as Want to Read:
I'm Supposed to Protect You from All This
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

I'm Supposed to Protect You from All This

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  1,378 ratings  ·  213 reviews
A memoir of mothers and daughters—and mothers as daughters—traced through four generations, from Paris to New York and back again.  

For a long time, Nadja Spiegelman believed her mother was a fairy. More than her famous father, Maus creator Art Spiegelman, and even more than most mothers, hers—French-born New Yorker art director Françoise Mouly—exerted a force over reality
Hardcover, 372 pages
Published August 2nd 2016 by Riverhead Books
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about I'm Supposed to Protect You from All This, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about I'm Supposed to Protect You from All This

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Rating details
Sort: Default
Aug 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
“The things my mother did not see about herself, I did not see, either.”

This book was exactly what I’ve been looking for, and I didn’t realize this until I was done. I'm Supposed to Protect You from All This is a memoir of mothers and daughters—and mothers as daughters—traced through four generations, from Paris to New York and back again.

We start out with an introduction to the growing relationship between mother and daughter. And I was swept away with memories.

“While other people joked bitterl
Axel Barceló
Apr 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
I love reading non-fiction and lately I have been reading a lot of memoirs and autobiographical books (Patti Smith’s “Just Kids”, Dave Eggers “A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius”, Julie Doucet’s “My New York Diary”, etc.) and it is clear to me that part of their success stems from them one or two very well defined underlying concepts or themes. Now, I am currently reading Nadja Siegelman’s “I’m supposed to protect you from all this” and, yesterday I started writing this brief text about h ...more
Jun 27, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“My mother wasn’t perfect. My mother was intense. Things didn’t happen because they were possible, they happened because she decided they would….but, as anyone who has read a fairytale knows, all spells come with a cost. The magic pulled on hidden sources. … she could set the universe aflame, but she used herself as fuel. Somewhere inside, the earth was scorched”.

I’m Supposed To Protect You From All This is a memoir by American graphic novelist and author, Nadja Spiegelman. Nadja is the daughter
Aug 11, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Figlia d’arte (il padre è Art, l’autore del premiatissimo Maus, la madre, Françoise, è art director del New Yorker), Nadja Spiegelman, scrive un memoir che ripercorre la vita di Françoise, innanzitutto, ma anche della nonna Josée e in parte della bisnonna Mina. Quattro generazioni di donne, insomma, perché la storia è anche la sua: quella di una bambina e poi di una ragazza che ha avuto con la madre una relazione complessa, nutrita di infinito amore e aspro conflitto.

La caratteristica principal
So the guy who wrote The Complete Maus has a daughter, and that daughter is Nadja. Who knew, right? Ever wonder what it's like to grow up in a house with parents such as Art Spiegelman and The New Yorker art designer, Françoise Mouly? Nadja lets you know, sort of, though her memoir is mostly about the women in her family: her mother, her grandmother, her great-grandmother. If you're looking for scoop on Art, you're not really going to get it here, though there's a little. This is really about fo ...more
Jackie Rogers
Jun 10, 2016 rated it liked it
Have mixed feelings about this book. I really like reading about real lives for the most part. However this book kept me jumping backwards to remember which person was being talked about at any given time. Is about three generations of women that were not shown much love or affection in childhood. the grandmother was self absorbed and her daughter became the same and the granddaughter is wanting to know of their growing up years and who they are today. Was interesting enough to keep me reading b ...more
Jaclyn Crupi
Nov 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
So many books that I have loved this year have featured complex mother-daughter relationships - My Name is Lucy Barton, Hot Milk, Our Magic Hour, The Portable Veblen etc. This memoir tackles mother-daughter-grandmother-great grandmother memories and their legacies in a completely mesmerising way. I found it so relatable, beautifully nuanced and tender. I spent yesterday with my mother and could not stop talking to her about this book. The four women headliners are brutal, cruel, generous and fas ...more
Jul 31, 2016 rated it liked it
This was an interesting history of four generations of strong women in the family of Francoise Mouly, the French born New Yorker art director. I expected to read more about the author herself in the book as it is called a memoir, but it really was more about the relationships between the previous generations. Their stories are fascinating and the way they affect each other's lives so deeply is touching and sobering at the same time.
Sarah Obsesses over Books & Cookies
started off well...
Yuliya Yurchuk
Aug 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Просто любов. Я так люблю читати про мам і доньок, а тут аж чотири покоління таких відносин.
Jun 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir, non-fiction
3.5 rounded up

A page-turner of a memoir by Nadja Spiegelman (daughter of Art Spiegelman - author of the graphic novel Maus I: A Survivor's Tale: My Father Bleeds History) examining the relationship between her mother and grandmother.

Inspired to some extent by her father's work, Nadja decides to learn more about her mother's side of the family. This book is actually much more complex of a memoir than described above - Nadja also gives context of her relationship between herself and her mother, he
Kathrin Schröder
Nadja Spiegelman, Was nie geschehen ist, Erscheinungsdatum 09.03.2018

gelesen dank netgalley als ebook (Kindle)

Genre: Belletristik

Vielleicht habe ich dieses Buch unter falschen Voraussetzungen begonnen. Die Tochter von Art Spiegelmann (Maus) schreibt eine Familiengeschichte der weiblichen Linie. Vielleicht habe ich hieraus und aus dem Titel Themen hineingedeutet, die das Buch in Wirklichkeit nicht vorgibt zu behandeln.

Selten habe ich ein Buch zu Ende gelesen mit dem ich so wenig warm geworden bin
Sep 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This was so unexpected and lovely. The stories of mothers and daughters, and how memory is a shifty thing, rang so true to me. As a daughter (and now a mother) in a family who loves telling our stories, I thought a lot about which versions become truth and which just sort of evaporate.

Also: the author is a Stuy graduate, a year younger than me, and there is a small section about 9/11 that was written about as clearly and honestly as I've ever read anything about my (collective) experience of tha
Jan 09, 2017 rated it did not like it
I had heard good things and was really excited to get into this. I love reading dark, complex tales about womanhood, femininity, mothers, etc. But the narrator had no sense of humor and no self-awareness. She grew up insanely privileged, which is fine, but seems to have no idea that most people don't have the same upbringing as she did.

For example: when she's talking about how hard it was to have a beautiful mother when she was an awkward, heavy teen, she says that her mom was asked to pose for
Katherine Lika
A sharp account of memory, motherhood (and daughterhood - is that a word?), and transitions. Beautiful and page-turning, I loved Spiegelman's voice, though she seemed to step back towards the end. Still, a brave and honest chronicle that I won't soon forget.
Jul 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir
This might be the most honest memoir I've ever read! It's certainly unique--and prescient--about how it views the fallibility of memory.

Nadja Spiegelman starts with her own life, and her tumultuous relationship with her mother, at least when she was a teen. She then interrogates her mother's life and her own dramatic relationship with her mother, and finally she gets the scoop from her grandmother. I believe this approach kinda mirrors what Nadja's father, Art Spiegelman, did with his graphic me
Mar 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography, women
This is a fascinating journey seen through the lens of a girl trying to understand her narcissistic mother, grandmother and even great-grandmother. I don't think the author would choose that word to describe her matrilineal line, and yet every story she shares falls deeply into that groove. She is on the outside, looking into their memories of the past, trying to put the pieces together to make a coherent "truthful" story, but "the truth" is impossible to find when everyone involved is constantl ...more
Text Publishing
‘Spiegelman’s narrative complicates, blurs, and questions the line between the self and the other—that basic fault-line of all autobiographical writing—as perhaps only a story about mothers can.’
Elif Batuman, author of The Possessed

‘Spiegelman’s sagely poetic “memoir” is maybe best described as the biography of a mother seen through the eyes of a daughter…[Her] intimate portrait of female identity and idolatry is intelligent, forthright and heartbreaking. Her sentences will haunt me forever.’
Mon Margo
May 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
“I had asked my friends, women between twenty and thirty, if they had asked their mothers to tell them their lives in this way. Most said no. Most said they weren’t sure they’d want to know”.

Nadja Spiegelman retrata más que entrañable y estrujadoramente la complejidad de las relaciones entre madres e hijas. Lo doloroso e intenso, pero también revelador e importante que es indagar la historia emocional de nuestra madre, nuestra abuela, nuestra bisabuela... Para dimensionarlas más como personas,
Jun 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Mothers and daughters and daughters of daughters. This intricate and compelling memoir explores several generations of women, their relationships, their flaws, their loves, how they raised their children and how their memories have shaped and influenced them.

These are very personal stories and Spiegelman treats her family's legacy with sensitivity and a real sense of curiosity.

I'm Supposed To Protect You From All This is a remarkable read and I was saddened when my time with these fascinating
Oct 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
A chronicle of three generations of Spiegelman females and the way they influenced each other

tl;dr at Overall, as always

Any comic book fan knows who Art Spiegelman and Vladek Spiegelman are, their lives examined in Maus in heartbreaking detail. But that's only one side of the prolific Spiegelmans, the male side. What about the women of the house?

The memoir concerns Josee, the grandmother, Francoise, the mother, and Nadja herself, the daughter, the writer, and the one who wants to uncover all the
Aug 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Other reviewers have done a great job of encapsulating the contents of this memoir, so this will not be all-encompassing. Nadja Spiegelman delves deeply into her family history, particularly in a matriarchal approach. I felt that it was no-holds-barred, but in the service of the exploration of the book's themes, rather than for cheap shock value. The author is extremely bright and highly analytical without veering into navel-gazing territory, which seems like a real accomplishment. Anyone wonder ...more
Amy Formanski Duffy
Sep 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
By turns very melancholy and heartwarming, this memoir illustrates how family dysfunction can span generations but also how emotional wounds can heal over time. Written by the daughter of Maus author Art Spiegelman and New Yorker editor and Toon Books publisher Francoise Mouly, it first draws parallels between the author's upbringing in New York City and her mother's upbringing in France. Later she moves to Paris and grows closer to her grandmother, who slowly reveals dark secrets from her own p ...more
Scarlett Peterson
Jun 10, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016, giveaways
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Susan Fair
Jul 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky enough to get an ARC of this book, and read it over two evenings (and one afternoon). In addition to being extraordinarily well-written, it's also painfully honest and real. You may never look at your own family - or your own memories - the same after reading I'm Supposed to Protect You from All This. Highly recommend.
Courtney McCarroll
Oct 15, 2016 rated it it was ok
Frustratingly, this didn't work at all for me. I guess the silver lining is that I realize how much skill it takes to write an effective memoir, but Spiegelman falls into the "and this happened, then this happened, and then this happened" trap without really reconciling these traumatic events.
Giselle A Nguyen
Dec 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is the book I wish I could write. Spiegelman expertly weaves generations of stories into interconnecting threads, writing with heart and intelligence about her family history. Lots of interesting points about the fallibility of memory, and how it shifts over time. My favourite read of 2016.
Mar 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A marvelous page-turning memoir about memory and matriarchy. I loved this so, so much.
Nov 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is such an intense experience. I grew up reading MAUS and then later learned about the unsung importance of Francoise Mouly when I saw her at a Penny Stamps lecture at the Michigan Theater. Mouly was the true founder of RAW magazine and had a very strong visual and narrative influence on Spiegelman's work, giving us the Spiegelman we know today.

"I'm Supposed to Protect You from All of This," by Nadja Spiegelman, tells the story of herself, her mother, her grandmother, her great grandmo
Mar 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was a gift in many ways. A friend ordered it for me and it arrived at my door, ready to be read and savored. As someone who studied women’s memoirs and who has taught and wondered at Spiegelman’s father’s graphic novel Maus, I already had set lenses for entering Nadja’s life. Though there is little of her father in the narrative, he hovered there as I read. And, as memoir, this is a fascinating and complexly layered work.
The book explores generations of mothers and daughters and grand
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • C'mon Papa: Dispatches from a Dad in the Dark
  • The Dragon Behind the Glass: A True Story of Power, Obsession, and the World's Most Coveted Fish
  • I, Phoolan Devi
  • Isms: Understanding Art
  • In the Land of Armadillos: Stories
  • How to Read a French Fry: And Other Stories of Intriguing Kitchen Science
  • Multiple Choice
  • Cologne
  • What is Obscenity?: The Story of a Good For Nothing Artist and her Pussy
  • Black Panther #2
  • Intimate Wars: The Life and Times of the Woman Who Brought Abortion from the Back Alley to the Board Room
  • Dying: A Memoir
  • Bad Reputation: The Unauthorized Biography of Joan Jett
  • J. M. Coetzee and the Life of Writing: Face-to-face with Time
  • The Great Eight: How to Be Happy (Even When You Have Every Reason to Be Miserable)
  • Secrets of the Cat
  • Ratf**ked: The True Story Behind The Secret Plan To Steal America's Democracy
  • Midwife: A Calling
Nadja Spiegelman is the Eisner-award nominated author of the ZIG AND WIKKI graphic series for young children and LOST IN NYC: A SUBWAY ADVENTURE. Her forthcoming memoir, "I'm Supposed to Protect You from All This," will be published by Riverhead Books in August 2016. She currently divides her time between Paris and Brooklyn.
“I saw a pattern forming, like a series of skipping stones that sent ripples through the generations: all the granddaughters and grandmothers who loved each other, all the mothers left stranded in between.” 2 likes
“The things my mother did not see about herself, I did not see, either.” 2 likes
More quotes…