Distinct from their purely textual counterparts, graphic memoirs interweave words with emotive and purposeful illustrations to tell the story of the author’s life. We will read two such books to examine how the combination of words and images, as well as the interplay between the personal and the historical invite the reader both to witness and empathize with the author’s experiences. We will discuss the impact and relevance of themes such as political upheaval, familial and romantic relationships, and the tensions and possibilities inherent within the journey between cultures. How is each author’s story unique, how is it universal, and what can it teach us about our own identities and experiences?
Read: Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood, Marjane Satrapi; The Best We Could Do: An Illustrated Memoir, Thi Bui