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Uprooted from her childhood in Germany and set adrift in the American Midwest, Maureen was raised by a kind but neglectful mother who loved Jesus more than her own child and a stern, disinterested grandmother who waxed nostalgic about Nazi Germany. Growing up queer and isolated, Maureen often felt unmoored and unloved. Years later, Maureen reflects upon her complicated past. Queen of Snails follows Maureen through time and memory in her quest to untangle the trauma passed down to her over three generations of women. Part memoir and part family history, Queen of Snails is a beautifully drawn, powerful story that examines and transmutes the emotional baggage of violence, abandonment, and displacement.
About the Author
Maureen Burdock is a graphic storyteller and scholar. She is the author of Feminist Fables for the Twenty-First Century: The F Word Project, and she has contributed comics to various collections, including the Eisner-winning anthology Menopause: A Comic Treatment; Covid Chronicles: A Comics Anthology; and Pathographics: Narrative, Aesthetics, Contention, Community. You can follow her work at maureenburdock.com.
"A book that contains multitudes" - FOREWORD
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY -- Drawn with a dreamscape of richly hued colored pencils, Burdock's graphic memoir is a thoughtful examination of intergenerational trauma. Grieving her complicated, religious mother, Burdock asks, "Is it possible to build a strong home that transcends one's history and culture? Not without first carefully examining those inherited structures." Her own story begins in the Black Forest of Germany in the 1970s, where she enjoys a magical relationship with the natural world, including the snails that function as a metaphor for home and vulnerability throughout. But when her mother decides to leave her abusive husband, Burdock and her mom go to live with her grandmother-Omi, as Burdock calls her-in Chicago. Omi is a former Nazi youth leader and Holocaust minimizer. Like many Germans, she was also displaced and terrorized by WWII. As a result, Burdock's mother spent part of her childhood in an orphanage, but "it wasn't Jesus who protected her, but her own closed eyes." Burdock bounces around in her youth in search of belonging, encountering along the way kindness, inspiration, and sexual violence. The art can be striking, for example a dialogue between halved red and golden Matryoshka dolls, though the language in places trends academic. Burdock's investigation into the history that has shaped her is a deeply personal reckoning, with global ripples. (Nov.)
Publisher: Graphic Mundi - Psu Press Pub date: November 22, 2022 Length: 232 pages Format: Paperback
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