Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Impostor's Daughter

A debut graphic memoir, The Impostor's Daughter tells two stories. One is how Laurie grew up with her larger-than-life father, a college professor who had a great many stories to share. He was quite accomplished and experienced in his tales, from his days dealing with political unrest in Peron-era Argentina, to his exploits as a Green Beret in Vietnam where he won two Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star, to his earning multiple Ph.Ds from institutions like Columbia and NYU, to writing position papers for Henry Kissinger. The second part is how Laurie dealt with such an overwhelming male presence in her own relationships, especially when she began to unravel that all of her father's stories were lies.

Laurie Sandell is an active reporter and a contributing editor for Glamour Magazine. A particular specialty of hers is interviewing celebrities. The impetus for her memoir can be found in this Esquire Magazine article. She has drawn all of her life, albeit not so much professionally. This work is her first foray into graphic novels, and her art style is very clear and simple.

Perhaps because of her publishing connections, Sandell's book has been widely, and for the most part positively, reviewed. John Hogan wrote that he "fell in love with this book and its raw honesty. It's gut-wrenching and compelling."Likewise, Bermuda Onion gushed that she fell in love with this book and could not put it down. Greg Burgas provides a different opinion, opining that he found the book "unfulfilling" because it was so shallow in its treatment of a potentially great story. For more opinions, a great number of reviews from agencies such as Kirkus Reviews to Publisher's Weekly can be found here.

For more information about Sandell and this memoir, check out this interview from ABC News or this interview with Doree Shafrir.

A preview is available here from publisher Little, Brown and Company.

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