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The Contradictions

By: Sophie Yanow

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. 

ISBN: 9781770464070

JLG Release: Oct 2020


Sensitive Areas: Crime: Theft , Drugs/Alcohol/Tobacco: Drug Use/Abuse , Drugs/Alcohol/Tobacco: Reference or Discussion , Language: Strong Language
Topics:

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

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Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

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 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

Book Details

ISBN

9781770464070

First Release

October 2020

Genre

Fic

Dewey Classification

F

Trim Size

8 4/5" x 6"

Page Count

200

Accelerated Reader

N/A

Scholastic Reading Counts

N/A

Lexile

N/A

Format

Print Book

Edition

Paperback

Publisher

Drawn & Quarterly

Potentially Sensitive Areas

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

Topics

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

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Cover Art

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