Flying Couch : A Graphic Memoir
Overview - A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice Flying Couch, Amy Kurzweil's debut, tells the stories of three unforgettable women. Amy weaves her own coming-of-age as a young Jewish artist into the narrative of her mother, a psychologist, and Bubbe, her grandmother, a World War II survivor who escaped from the Warsaw Ghetto by disguising herself as a gentile. Read more...
More About Flying Couch by Amy Kurzweil
A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice Flying Couch,
Amy Kurzweil's debut, tells the stories of three unforgettable women. Amy weaves her own coming-of-age as a young Jewish artist into the narrative of her mother, a psychologist, and Bubbe, her grandmother, a World War II survivor who escaped from the Warsaw Ghetto by disguising herself as a gentile. Captivated by Bubbe's story, Amy turns to her sketchbooks, teaching herself to draw as a way to cope with what she discovers. Entwining the voices and histories of these three wise, hilarious, and very different women, Amy creates a portrait not only of what it means to be part of a family, but also of how each generation bears the imprint of the past.
A retelling of the inherited Holocaust narrative now two generations removed, Flying Couch
uses Bubbe's real testimony to investigate the legacy of trauma, the magic of family stories, and the meaning of home. With her playful, idiosyncratic sensibility, Amy traces the way our memories and our families shape who we become. The result is this bold illustrated memoir, both an original coming-of-age story and an important entry into the literature of the Holocaust.
Publishers Weekly Reviews
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Kurzweil intersperses loose anecdotes from her own life with stories of her grandmothers survival in Poland during World War II, to present portraits of three generations of women in her family. As a child, Amy is anxious and frequently unable to sleep. Her mother, a psychotherapist, offers wordy lectures on stress management. Amys grandmother Bubbe is introduced as a tanned, tube topwearing retiree who protects her carpets with tacky beach towels. Bubbes struggles during the war are the strongest part of this book, but unfortunately Kurzweils cartoony drawing style, mostly devoid of backgrounds or traditional panel structures, often fails to do these harrowing experiences justice. Kurzweil is clearly a devote of Alison Bechdel, but this book lacks the refinement of Fun Home. One revealing page juxtaposes an image of Amy standing mournfully beside the Wailing Wall with one of her smiling and giving a peace sign while riding a camel. Is she a sojourner or a tourist? The various strands of this book never quite come together. (Oct.)