WAS SHE PRETTY? by Leanne Shapton

available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powell's

Sarah Crichton Books, Farrar, Straus & Giroux (October 31, 2006)
Hardcover, 208 pages, 8.4 x 5.8 x 0.7 inches
ISBN-10: 0374299269
ISBN-13: 978-0374299262

From Publishers Weekly:
Illustrator Leanne Shapton's debut reads like a graphic-novel-cum-children's-book: each spread includes one or more scratchy, b&w line drawings plus short, facing-page, poetryesque texts. Its content, though, leans much more toward Sex In the City than Shel Silverstein, exploring conflicting feelings aroused in women by their boyfriends' ex-lovers. It's narrated (and drawn) by a sharp but weary onlooker who is very intimate with all the principles, who seem to form a loose circle of friends.
A picture depicting "one of the women Len used to know" shows a dour, hot, tight-sweater-wearing woman who is summed-up with deadpan wit: in one sentence, she's "an opinionated academic," in the next, it's revealed, with barely concealed jealousy, that "She wore braces and they looked fantastic." Shapton also captures a complex brew of nostalgia, lingering attachment, relief, rage and intoxication harbored by the men: they keep letters, hairclips, phone numbers, and are occasionally also honest with themselves. In a serial description of Margaret's adventures reading her boyfriend Scott's journals, which deatail his past relationships, "Scott described seeing Diane on the subway with another man, and feeling jealous, but sorry for the man." Diane looks very mean, and the book is pitch perfect from start to finish. (Nov.)
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