Finck, Liana

Passing for Human: A Graphic Memoir. Random. Sept. 2018. 240p. ISBN 9780525508922. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780525508939. GRAPHIC NOVEL/MEMOIR
OrangeReviewStarWhile the author herself would not necessarily call this story a hero's journey, this part bildungsroman, part epic poem describes the emotional and physical quest of New Yorker columnist/cartoonist Finck (A Bintel Brief: Love and Longing in Old New York) and generations of her family as they grapple with their individual beauty, creativity, and melancholy through the lens of a creation myth. Expanding her typical two-color illustration style to three—black, white, and a stunningly brilliant and graceful yellow—Finck conveys an honest meditation of her own strangeness, the beginnings of humans and the world, artistry, and intimacy with others. Readers may feel almost invasive as they bear witness to her exploration of her most vulnerable corners and pockets and those of her family, but that is her plan. She is the hero of this work on discovering selfhood—but in a deeply human way.
VERDICT This creative and cerebral memoir, both in narrative and artwork, will appeal to similarly minded readers and fans of illustrator Maira Kalman. [Previewed in Jody Osicki's "Graphically Speaking," LJ 6/15/18.]
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