GRAPHIC NOVELS

Okay, Universe: Chronicles of a Woman in Politics

Drawn & Quarterly. Dec. 2020. 104p. tr. from French by Helge Dascher. ISBN 9781770464117. pap. $21.95. GRAPHIC NOVELS
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Plante, the history-making first woman elected Mayor of Montreal, and illustrator Côté-Lacroix (How Jack Lost Time) present this inspiring tale of a woman determined to engage with and improve her city. Grassroots activist and community organizer Simone Simoneau is surprised when Action/Reaction Montreal contacts her to suggest she run for city council, but she soon embraces the idea and kicks off her campaign. Without the support of political or business contacts to rely on, Simone reaches out to friends and family for campaign contributions and introduces herself to potential constituents one at a time, door-to-door. As her campaign progresses, Simone overcomes sexism, cynicism, and other obstacles with grace and unwavering optimism, never losing focus on her mission to improve the city. More important, she remains deeply empathetic and open-minded; after residents and business owners express concerns about skyrocketing rent, she abandons her original plans and dedicates herself to preserving affordable housing.
VERDICT As Simone’s quest to win municipal office progresses, readers will find themselves unable to resist rooting for her victory, and even inspired to become more politically active.
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