Will's Reviews > Lighter than My Shadow

Lighter than My Shadow by Katie Green
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's review

it was amazing
bookshelves: graphic-novel, memoir

If I'd finished this 6 days earlier, it would have easily been the most powerful thing I read in 2018. Everything else to come in 2019 has very tough competition.

I've never read anything else quite like this, in form or in content. The artwork is black ink, on pages of textured colour reflecting the phases of the author's life & experiences. In a hair-dyeing sequence, the pages are splattered with the colour of the dye; in a hallucination sequence, the pages swim with colour. It's a gigantic object, but it's beautiful, and earns its place on the shelf.

On the content: it's a deeply personal, moving, and sometimes harrowing description of the author's experiences with academic pressure, eating disorders, sexual assault, and recovery. Not always easy reading, and I imagine it was difficult–and cathartic–to write. Sequential art feels like the right way to communicate the mental struggles, between the literal depictions of a black cloud of anxiety & the occasional monster, and more abstract representations, with heavy use of repetition.

It feels important as a father to a young daughter to get insight into how her experiences growing up will be different, and more difficult, than mine were as a cis boy, even if not quite to these extremes. So I have a lot of thinking to do about how I can listen to & support her.

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Reading Progress

December 2, 2017 – Shelved
December 2, 2017 – Shelved as: to-read
March 14, 2018 – Started Reading
March 14, 2018 – Shelved as: graphic-novel
March 14, 2018 – Shelved as: memoir
January 6, 2019 – Finished Reading

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