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Mansfield and Me: A Graphic Memoir
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Mansfield and Me: A Graphic Memoir

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  158 ratings  ·  33 reviews
Part memoir, part biography, Laing charts her life and journey to being a writer against Katherine Mansfield's own journey. An examination of how our lives connect to those of our personal heroes.
Paperback, 344 pages
Published October 16th 2016 by Victoria University Press (first published 2016)
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4.22  · 
Rating details
 ·  158 ratings  ·  33 reviews

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Colleen Fauchelle
Nov 13, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016-reads
The weather, The earthquakes and not feeling well. It was good to hide in a easy to read and interesting graphic memoir. I liked that Sarah Laing did Katherin Mansfield's part in black and white.
Oct 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Lovely lovely lovely, more please!
Marcus Hobson
Dec 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: new-zealand
Sarah Laing's book works brilliantly on lots of levels.
It is a great story of her own literary journey, contrasted with events from the life of Katherine Mansfield who acts as her literary heroine.

My own knowledge of Mansfield is sadly limited to having read a couple of her short stories, but this densely packed book gives me lots of back story and sent me off in search or more. It has certainly made me want to read more of those stories but also read some biography too.
On a completely different
Simon Sweetman
Mar 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A brilliant graphic memoir that is part potted-biography of Mansfield, part personal memoir of/for Laing and a blurring of the two characters and some fantasy sections; stunningly honest and real and exquisitely put together - a real marriage of/between text and images - this is a brilliant book.
Mar 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I've read lots of GA's and this one is up there with the best, Persepolis, Maus, The Encyclopedia of Earth and Fun Home (which draws parallels - memoir, sexuality, family relationships).

Sarah's pictures are soft and informal - is that even a way to describe it? They're not crisp and life like, they have a much looser style.

KM is well researched. I've read lots about KM and grew up on her stories, but I learned new things in Mansfield and Me. I'm now keen, for example, to read the last days of KM
Wendy Jackson
Jul 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was borrowed from a friend and (embarrassingly) sat on my shelf for over a year, unread. Yesterday afternoon, I picked it up because I felt in the mood for something completely different to read, and ended up devouring it in one sitting. I loved the format - the mix of memoir and some biography of Katherine Mansfield. I also found the artwork beautiful (special mention of NZ native birds on page 8). Definitely one of my favourite graphic novels to date.
[Coincidentally, I was poking around
Jan 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This graphic memoir follows the template established by Art Spiegelman in Maus, with the shifts back and forward in time, but with the past narrative in this case not strictly connected to the author's present. Katherine Mansfield's life provides some parallels to Laing's efforts to become an author and overcome the isolation of New Zealand. The story has a lot of resonance for me, having grown up and gone to university in Palmerston North at the same time as the author, and I know some of the p ...more
Kathryn Beek
Jan 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What a treat. A moving insight into the lives of two important New Zealand writers, rendered with humour and accompanied by fresh and evocative illustrations.
Rochelle Sewell
Feb 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was drawn to the description; A Graphic Memoir. It was an experiment to pick up a story depicted in graphic form, with only speech and thought bubbles, with the briefest of footnotes to tell the tale. Mansfield and Me is the first graphic novel that I’ve read and it won’t be my last.

I was intrigued to follow Sarah Laing’s memoir as she recounts a plotted history of her life in parallel with that of New Zealand’s treasured storywriter Katherine Mansfield. Laing tells so much in few words and he
I haven't read much (or any?) Katherine Mansfield which probably makes me a bad literary inclined New Zealander. Especially because I live about five minutes from the Katherine Mansfield museum thingy. But I read this anyway. I loved how Laing explored the idea that you have to leave New Zealand to be a writer when she (unlike Mansfield) was able to make her career right here. The mansfield/laing sections are intertwined really well, and the art is just so gorgeous. I did find the writing a bit ...more
Jan 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Two things I should first admit: first I was an English teacher at PNGHS when Sarah was a student there and secondly, I shared the English department's passion for Mansfield's writing and went on the annual Year 13 pilgrimage to Wellington to follow Mansfield's steps. Laing's combination of her life and Mansfield's life is witty and poignant and beautifully linked. The illustrations are simple and clear and effective. If you know Mansfield's stories well, you will immerse yourself in the book. I ...more
Barnaby Haszard Morris
Apr 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
It took me some time to get used to switching back and forth between the Laing and Mansfield narratives (I should say there is an admirable effort to connect the two, thematically and directly), but over time, a real sense of lives lived and time passing builds up. The final section is surprisingly cathartic, even beautiful. That's a pretty good word for this book: beautiful. You'd need more words to uncover the depth of intimate detail, the examination of creative success, the feminist strength ...more
Nov 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I am now a convert to graphic novels! I cut my work short and read this in one day. I completely related to the cultural references in this memoir and having read all of Sarah Laing's other books it was fascinating to have their "backstory" outlined in this book. I can't wait for the next one.

I am also now inspired to re-read some Katherine Mansfield stories and am tracking down her memoir of her trip to the Urewera.
Marloes Schoonheim
Nov 02, 2018 rated it liked it
There are parts of the book I love. The switching between Sarah and Katherine Mansfield’s life, and the way Laing brings Mansfield to life. But Sarah’s story didn’t manage to capture me. The raw style of the drawings is not for me. I find the text balloons hard to read. All in all, we’re not a perfect match - but I’m happy to read about the enthusiasm of others for this graphic novel.
Jonathon Hagger
Aug 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved every page of this book. The beautiful combination of lovely writing, introspection by the author, intertwining the story with Katherine Mansfield’s life and colourful pages. All combine to make for a wonderful story.
Aug 24, 2018 rated it liked it
Terrific with lovely illustrations. So overjoyed that my new home library has an informed graphic novels buyer. The stacks were filled with amazing looking choices. I would like to read her (non-graphic) short stories and fiction now :)
Nov 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphical, nz-authors
Very relatable and well illustrated graphical novel. A must for Mansfield lovers.
Sep 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful interweaving of lives and stories.
May 09, 2017 rated it liked it
I personally have never read any Mansfield, and wasn't really aware of her life. I found it trying hard to find similarities between the two women's lives and not really succeeding.
Mar 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this engaging book. It felt very authentic as a memoir, and the author bravely shared stuff about her life, growing up, the awkwardness and naivete of youth, relationships with women and men, and developing her creativity. Running parallel, and interspersed with Sarah Laing's life, are biographical scenes from the life of Laing's idol (not quite the right word) Katherine Mansfield.
I liked that Laing used black and white for Mansfield and colour for her own life, which helped di
Feb 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this, every minute of it. A treasure!
Apr 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
I have never read anything by Mansfield, but that was clearly no obstacle to enjoying this work. I suppose it’s easy to draw comparisons with the work of Sarah Beschdel, what with the confessional, autobiographical, Sapphic perspective, done in a contemporary graphic form.

Laing works her own story alongside that of Mansfield and mostly seems to pull this off with only the occasional lapse of flow here and there. The drawing is not overly crisp but it is clever and does its job nicely, though I
Helen Varley
Jan 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
this is a lovely book, for the most part a gentle interweaving of katherine mansfield's story with that of the author, beautifully illustrated and imaginatively rendered. there were a couple of places where i found the handwriting difficult to read & this tripped up the flow, and once or twice there were odd things in the chronology that i couldn't find a reason for. however overall it was a great read - until the end, which felt like the author had run out of steam & reached for a clich ...more
Mandy Hager
Dec 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I loved Sarah Laing's self-effacing honesty and her willingness to open herself to the world, while at the same way bringing Katherine Mansfield to life in a way never done before. It's clever, witty, frank, moving and has converted me to the graphic novel genre.
Oct 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Quirky and clever with a lovely interweaving of Mansfield's life, the stories and the author's own biographical connections. The illustrations are funny, bold and very appealing. A truly original book.
Jan 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Great but slightly frustrated at times by size of handwriting in speech bubbles
Apr 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir, writing
I just loved this book! Really beautiful and touching work.
Emma Makes
Apr 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Since having a baby I really haven't committed a lot of time to reading - tired, jobs to be done, low attention span... so many reasons. I picked this up though and couldn't put it down.

Fabulous intertwining of two stories; honest, an enjoyable story and an unbelievable amount of work required to create such a work.

Really easy to get into and a thoroughly enjoyable read.

I edited this because I can't get over the man with the dog for a girlfriend. I think it should have been left out. It been les
Great read. A blending of historic and modern. lived the illustrations.
Dorothy Dentata
Apr 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
I thought this was so beautiful, and so much of the teenage move to Wellington/local scenery/wistful small town nz teenager felt so genuine and relatable to me. I also love reading graphic novels about parenthood. The Katherine Mansfield sections totally intrigued me too.

I think my fave thing about this book was the art, I want so many of the bigger illustrations as framed prints!

Reason it's not a 5 is because I feel like the two storylines could have been woven together a bit more smoothly or
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