mordicai caeli (mordicai) wrote,
mordicai caeli

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With Apologies to T.S. Eliot. (49)

Anya's Ghost by Vera Brosgol.

Much possessed by death,
smoking in the girl's bathroom,
skull beneath the skin.

Books like Anya's Ghost, Zita the Spacegirl & Koko Be Good really highlight what a great showcase the Flight anthologies are. First Second really snaps up the best of them & gives them a chance to shine. Anya's Ghost is another success story; it manages to be a both a tale of growing up in the suburbs as well as a tale about immigration...& an excellent ghost story that subverts your expectations & then subverts then again. Unlike my favorite immigration story, The Arrival, Anya's Ghost focuses on the second generation, the encultured youth. Actually, strike that-- Superman is my favorite immigration story, so that would make The Arrival number two. Anyhow, Anya's Ghost isn't a feel bad story, or anything so predictable as a polemic about "returning to your roots." It isn't a crude fable, but rather a well-crafted story. It doesn't have a moral hanging over its head like the Sword of Damocles. Narrative is doubled by the art, which is really fantastic. Bosgol manages to deal with topics like sexual awakening in the margins-- again, no heavy hammers!-- largely through her art, which I think is really wonderful. I'd say the best thing about the illustrations is the dance between the cute & the macabre-- the climax at the end being a very fitting apotheosis of both sides of that line.
Tags: books, brosgol, comics, haiku

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