ANN TENNA by Marisa Acocella Marchetto


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A high-spirited graphic novel skewers the Twitterati.

Like Roz Chast, Marchetto is known for both her signature cartoons in the New Yorker—she's the one who does rich ladies in sunglasses—and for a deeply affecting graphic memoir (Cancer Vixen, 2006). Her new graphic novel tells the story of Ann Tenna, a shallow, mean-spirited, media-obsessed NYC gossip columnist, founder of a Gawker-like website called Eyemauler. She trash-talks live from Ann Cams embedded in her powder compact and in a baguette on her Fendi bag, and despite/because of how awful she is, she’s constantly beset by a crowd of sycophants: "Kiss! Kiss! Come to my club! There's a 24-carat rose gold jeroboam of pink champagne in the VIP room with your name on it!" After a near-fatal traffic accident, Ann ascends to the astral plane, where she meets Super Ann, her eternal self and spirit guide, who gives her "full body, mind and spiritual, mental, emotional and electromagnetical treatments designed to remove your earthly layers so you can see who you ideally are," and visits with Coco Chanel, Gianni Versace, Jimi Hendrix, and her dead mother. Ann is allowed to return to Earth in order to repudiate her evil media-mongering and become a "transmissionary" of the truth, but her drama draws her right back in. There's her two-faced little stepsister, Farrah, who speaks entirely in text message–ese, written in a phone-type font: "we're sooooo srry 2 hr ur nt doing 2 wll!!!" There's her sleazy celebrity photographer boyfriend, Declan Zimmerman, who is trailed by starlets begging to get "zimmed." There's her webmaster, Mirra, who grabbed the mike herself the minute Ann went down, and the evil media magnate Rolf Fanger, who bought Eyemauler from Ann and now is jockeying to edge her out. Will Ann come to her senses and save the world from its cellphones in time?

Zany with a touch of uplifting. You will be measurably hipper after reading it.

Pub Date: Sept. 15th, 2015
ISBN: 978-0-307-26747-4
Page count: 240pp
Publisher: Knopf
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 2015


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