Author: Tillie Walden
Publication Info: First Second (2017)
Walden’s illustrated memoir tells of several years in her childhood when she was a dedicated figure skater and synchronized skater which involved rising early to get to the rink, extensive travel to tournaments, and a discomfort with the performative femininity expected of her. Outside of skating, Walden moves from New Jersey to Austin, TX and has to adjust to a new school, deal with a bully, and come out as a lesbian. It’s an insightful and meditative look back on the choices made in childhood and their long lasting effects.
“I’m the type of creator who is happy making a book without all the answers. I don’t need to understand my past fully in order to draw a comic about it. And now that this is a book that other people will read, I feel like it’s not really my turn to answer that question. It’s for the reader to decide, to speculate, to guess. It reminds me of how in English class in high school we would always talk about the author’s intentions in every moment. And I used to always wonder if there was ever an author who really didn’t mean any of it, and the meaning found its way in by accident. I think I’m that author.”
Recommended books: Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel