For Valentine’s Day, Q bought me this. We’re both currently very ill with bad colds so we spent the day in bed feeling very poorly. The poor man was sidelined for the rest of the day as I read the 338 page book cover to cover (it took 5 hours). But this is one of the many reasons I married him. He’s an enabler for my book addiction!
I’ve been a fan of her art for a while now and have been waiting impatiently for the book to be published in the UK. I wasn’t expecting to read it in essentially one sitting, but was drawn in and hooked by page 2.
Her prose is as stunning as her illustrations & paintings. It’s intelligently written (not surprising) and the words flow as easily as her drawings. You’re immediately captivated by her writing style as well as her story.
I think one of the reasons I was so struck by the book from the get go, was her description of her emotions and attitude as a teenager and saw how closely they resembled me when I was young. But with one striking difference – I didn’t have her bravery. At 16 – 17 she was living in Shakespeare & Company – the amazing book shop in Paris – and was striking out on her own, travelling to places I could only dream about. Those descriptions of the counties she’s visited are powerful and extremely evocative, placing you right in the middle of the action.
This woman seemingly grabbed life by the horns was determined to wring every potential from life. You live her life as you’re reading and I literally laughed and cheered her on as she became her own version of Toulouse-Lautrec at clubs such as The Box and burlesque functions.
The account of the transition from drawing for money to political activism through the Week In Hell event is wonderful and inspiring, as are the tales from Occupy and Guantanamo Bay.
I really cannot recommend this book enough. Her talent screams out from every page and is nothing short of inspirational. You may devour the book as I did, or you may be more sensible and pace yourself. But I suspect however you read it, you’ll be savouring every word.
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