I must be on a mother-daughter memoir roll...I read this book right after I read "Jello Girls." They are both honest and beautifully written memoirs about generations of mothers and daughters. I have been a fan of Art Spiegelman for some time but it was a breath of fresh air to hear the stories of his daughter, Nadja, and her relationship with her mother and grandmother.
I'm a sucker for memoirs about mothers and daughters, and this is a fairly engaging one. Not exactly... relatable, but well-written and touching in places.
I liked this book very much. It speaks to many about the relationship of mothers and daughters, how a generation gap can bring a granddaughter closer to her grandmother than a daughter, how time and culture changes family relationships.
Whatever the overall message of this book, it kept me engaged from beginning to end. It was akin to hiking on a long, meandering path; pleasant and unhurried. I gained affection for all of the main characters, author included. In the end, I'm not even so sure what the intent of the book was, other than, perhaps, the concept that we all see things through our own eyes. That's not too deep, but it was quite enjoyable. A well told read.
A really well written memoir of love with a difficult grandmother and an affectionate, loving but guarded mother. Both the Grandmother Josee and the Mom, Francoise are such complicated women. Francoise is driven and demanding but a very kind-hearted woman. I applaud the young author for being able to make the characters come alive on the page. Nadja does a good job of taking us into the worlds of Josee and Francoise and making us sympathize with these women who can seem mysterious, mercurial, and contradictory. We began to understand them as she tries to unravel what makes them tick.
Author Nadja Spiegelman's father was Art Spiegelman, who created the ground-breaking Holocaust memoir Maus, and her multi-talented, Paris-born mother Françoise Mouly was the New Yorker's art director. As a child, Spiegelman would ask her mother about her earlier life, but she always responded with "I'm supposed to protect you from all this." Once Spiegelman had reached 16, she began to draw her mother out about her life; after college she also traveled to Paris to learn more from her grandmother Josée. She has crafted the answers she found into this compelling memoir about daughters and mothers.
This is a great memoir and story of four generations of mothers and daughters. Heavily sprinkled with French and Paris- I loved it.
Spiegelman, the daughter of Maus creator Art Spiegelman and New Yorker Art director Francoise Mouly, explores the relationships between mothers and daughters in this memoir. Eager to know more about her mother's family, she interviews both her mother and grandmother Josee in search of the truth. What she encounters instead are wildly different versions of family history about Francoise, Josee, Mina, and Melanie, the previous four generations of her maternal line. The result is a highly personal memoir and proof that you can love others despite their flaws and past histories. The reader also gets a glimpse of French culture not designed for "les touristes".
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