Illustrated lessons in self-acceptance.
Originally brought to life as a time-lapse film, Canadian animator Dorfman’s (How to Be Alone, 2013) memoir excels at tugging at the heartstrings as she shares key aspects of her being. The striking cover art, featuring a vivid, digitally rendered cartoonlike self-portrait of the author in profile—her nose prominently depicted with ruler lines—leaves little mystery as to the source of the Toronto native’s inner turmoil. Dorfman reveals that when she first met future love interest and plastic surgeon Dave, when housesitting one summer in Halifax, she had already decided she wouldn’t like him because it bothered her “that his job was to operate on perfectly healthy people in an attempt to make them ‘beautiful.’ ” But after finding herself irresistibly drawn back to their summer romance, the author suggested the two cultivate a long-distance relationship by sending each other handmade postcards. Expecting Dave to shy away from her artistic challenge, Dorfman’s prejudices against plastic surgery were shattered when he happily sent her an illustration of his day spent working on patients with skin cancer. Dave’s courage in expressing himself artistically (not to mention loving the author, nose ’n’ all) inspires Dorfman not only to rethink her judgment of his vocation, but eventually to re-evaluate her own sense of being flawed.
Bold, funny, and brimming with emotional intelligence: a charming debut. (Graphic memoir. 12-adult)