A Book that Changed My Life - 9 muses photo
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Cathy

Cathy

"I was an asshole of a child. Particularly an asshole of a pre-teen. Not in any kind of violent or angry way, more of a spoiled, comfortable middle class white girl asshole in which I stomped around the house and slammed doors when I was angry or languished on the floor of the living room dramatically whining, "I'mmmm boooooored!" I was quite unaware of how good I had it. It was during one of these floor whining sessions between being bored by television and bored by suburban Michigan that my dad, having had enough of my whining for the day, towered over me and tossed two books onto my chest. "You're bored? Read that." It appealed almost immediately to my trained-on-talking-animal-Disney-movies aesthetic but also had an air of forbidden adult mystery in the haunting imagery on the covers. I had seen and known what a swastika was when Carly Silverstein broke down crying in the hallway after someone had carved one on her locker. Even to myself I thought, "Am I old enough for this?" Reading Maus by Art Spiegelman at 13 or so was a punch in the stomach. Having only consumed a steady diet of Archie, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and Misty comics I had never known the medium was capable of telling stories like this. I remember spending time with a particular panel depicting a hanging execution, the illustrated faces expressive with bulging eyes and the bodies stripped naked and shivering. It ushered me quietly into the world of adults where bad things happened to good people. I had been aware that that sort of thing was known to happen but I had never really understood it until I read Maus."

cathy