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The Contradictions



by
Sophie Yanow

Edition
Paperback
Publisher
Drawn & Quarterly
Imprint
Drawn & Quarterly
ISBN
9781770464070

Awards and Honors
2021 Lambda Awards Finalist
POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
Crime: Theft , Drugs/Alcohol/Tobacco: Drug Use/Abuse , Drugs/Alcohol/Tobacco: Reference or Discussion , Language: Strong Language
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Sophie is young and queer and into feminist theory. She decides to study abroad, choosing Paris for no firm reason beyond liking French comics. Feeling a bit lonely and out of place, she’s desperate for community and a sense of belonging. She stumbles into what/who she’s looking for when she meets Zena. An anarchist student-activist committed to veganism and shoplifting, Zena offers Sophie a whole new political ideology that feels electric. Enamored—of Zena, of the idea of living more righteously—Sophie finds herself swept up in a whirlwind friendship that blows her even further from her rural California roots as they embark on a disastrous hitchhiking trip to Amsterdam and Berlin, full of couch surfing, drug tripping, and radical book fairs.

Capturing that time in your life where you’re meeting new people and learning about the world—when everything feels vital and urgent—The Contradictions is Sophie Yanow’s fictionalized coming-of-age story. Sophie’s attempts at ideological purity are challenged time and again, putting into question the plausibility of a life of dogma in a world filled with contradictions. Keenly observed, frank, and very funny, The Contradictions speaks to a specific reality while also being incredibly relatable, reminding us that we are all imperfect people in an imperfect world.

Black-and-white illustrations. 

POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
Crime: Theft , Drugs/Alcohol/Tobacco: Drug Use/Abuse , Drugs/Alcohol/Tobacco: Reference or Discussion , Language: Strong Language

Details

Format

Print

Page Count

200

Trim Size

8 4/5" x 6"

Dewey

F

AR

0: points 0

Genre

Fiction

Scholastic Reading Counts

0

JLG Release

Oct 2020

Book Genres

Graphic Novels, Realistic Fiction

Topics

College students. Study abroad. Paris, France. Lesbians. Friendship. Loneliness. Bicycles. European travel. Hitchhiking. Coming of age. LGBTQ.


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Praise & Reviews

Library Journal

In Yanow’s debut graphic novel, a nervous, thoughtful analog of the author navigates the almost-adult world of college study abroad and finds herself drawn to a bike-riding anarchist named Zena with a penchant for shoplifting that seems at once ideological and compulsive. They form an uneasy bond and embark on a road trip across Europe, with all its expected challenges, good conversations, couch-surfing, drug-trips, and some casual theft. The tension is palpable as Yanow withholds her inner monolog while observing Zena’s justifications of their nominally anarchist escapades. Yanow’s illustrations capture her caution intensely with a few pen strokes, and her cityscapes are equally utilitarian while communicating a sense of place perfectly. Visually, there’s a hint of Tin-Tin-esque continental caper, but Yanow’s narrative also acts as a curious counter to Ulli Lust’s gonzo graphic memoir, How I Tried To Be a Good Person, about rejecting convention while criss-crossing Europe in the 1980s. The narrative emphasizes the squirmy discomfort of attempting to adhere to youthful ideals, finding them flawed, and holding oneself back from a world asking to be embraced in all its messiness. VERDICT Yanow’s voice is pointed, her cartooning delightfully specific without being precious or showy. This debut subtly, effectively challenges readers to dig into their own internal dissonance.—Emilia Packard, Tokyo, Japan

Praise & Reviews

Library Journal

In Yanow’s debut graphic novel, a nervous, thoughtful analog of the author navigates the almost-adult world of college study abroad and finds herself drawn to a bike-riding anarchist named Zena with a penchant for shoplifting that seems at once ideological and compulsive. They form an uneasy bond and embark on a road trip across Europe, with all its expected challenges, good conversations, couch-surfing, drug-trips, and some casual theft. The tension is palpable as Yanow withholds her inner monolog while observing Zena’s justifications of their nominally anarchist escapades. Yanow’s illustrations capture her caution intensely with a few pen strokes, and her cityscapes are equally utilitarian while communicating a sense of place perfectly. Visually, there’s a hint of Tin-Tin-esque continental caper, but Yanow’s narrative also acts as a curious counter to Ulli Lust’s gonzo graphic memoir, How I Tried To Be a Good Person, about rejecting convention while criss-crossing Europe in the 1980s. The narrative emphasizes the squirmy discomfort of attempting to adhere to youthful ideals, finding them flawed, and holding oneself back from a world asking to be embraced in all its messiness. VERDICT Yanow’s voice is pointed, her cartooning delightfully specific without being precious or showy. This debut subtly, effectively challenges readers to dig into their own internal dissonance.—Emilia Packard, Tokyo, Japan

Grades 9 & Up
Graphic Novels High Plus
For Grades 9 & Up

Book-length narratives presented in comic book style, graphic novels foster both visual and verbal comprehension skills while exposing readers to interesting dialogue and satire, as well as affirming diversity.

These unique books, some of them only published in softcover, are ideal for attracting reluctant readers and introducing them to literature they might not encounter otherwise. You may find that the 12 books in this category will turn your reluctant readers into eager readers.

14 books per Year
$274.96 per Year
Interests
Diversity,Fiction,High Interest/Reluctant Reader,Nonfiction,Struggling Readers,Novels
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Grades 9 & Up
Graphic Novels High Plus
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