We are living through "interesting times," and Save It For Later is a great collection of essays that survey much of what has been transpiring over the past decade, with a rise in fascism as well as the need for political action and attention to our environment. These essays do not offer easy answers, but they do offer insight into how one might speak to one's children about the world and how they should act in order to make sure that they have a future that is equitable and safe. It is a raw and emotionally direct book that elicits feelings of pain and anxiety that accompany difficult events. It is also a harrowing look at political movements that seek to silence many and enforce a single autocratic ideology.
It would be easy to say that this book is a response to the rise of Trump, and now that he is gone many of the issues brought with his regime are gone with him. But these essays show that his presidency is but one manifestation of a slow, persistent political tide, where white supremacists and toxic masculinity have amassed political currency for hatred and authoritarianism. He also points out many ways that a progressive response to this should not be to ridicule or treat these movements as clownish, even when they might seem ridiculous, because the consequences of their actions can be harmful and even deadly.
Still, the book is not all gloom and doom. Hope does lie in the future, with people who strive to find justice despite adversity, but it will take a lot of effort from many. Taking up the mantle of figures like John Lewis, this book is about how parents can talk to their children thoughtfully, discuss the political world, and act in ways that promote equity, equality, and freedom. It is not an easy book to read, but I feel it's an important one, especially right now.
This book was created by Nate Powell, one of the most accomplished graphic novelists of his generation. He is a veteran creator with a long list of praised works, including the Eisner and National Book Award winning March trilogy. He has also drawn a number of other graphic novels, such as The Silence of Our Friends, Swallow Me Whole, Any Empire, Come Again, and Run. He speaks about his work on these essays in this interview.
All of the reviews I have read about this book have been positive. In a starred review, Publishers Weekly concluded, "This sincere volume carries off parenting inspiration with gravitas." Henry Chamberlain wrote, "Powell manages to retain a certain level of rawness that adds authenticity. This is a real person who is just trying to figure things out, what’s best for him, his family, and his community." Hillary Chute called it "an absorbing reflection on intergenerational inheritance."