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2 Burnside GN- GRAPHIC NOVELS

The Impostor's Daughter: A True Memoir

by

The Impostor's Daughter: A True Memoir Cover

ISBN13: 9780316033053
ISBN10: 0316033057
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Laurie Sandell grew up in awe (and sometimes in terror) of her larger-than-life father, who told jaw-dropping tales of a privileged childhood in Buenos Aires, academic triumphs, heroism during Vietnam, friendships with Kissinger and the Pope. As a young woman, Laurie unconsciously mirrors her dad, trying on several outsized personalities (Tokyo stripper, lesbian seductress, Ambien addict). Later, she lucks into the perfect job — interviewing celebrities for a top women's magazine.

Growing up with her extraordinary father has given Laurie a knack for relating to the stars. But while researching an article on her dad's life, she makes an astonishing discovery: he's not the man he says he is — not even close. Now, Laurie begins to puzzle together three decades of lies and the splintered person that resulted from them — herself.

Review:

"In this delightfully composed graphic novel, journalist Sandell (Glamour) illustrates a touchingly youthful story about a daughter's gushing love for her father. Using a winning mixture of straightforward comic-book illustrations with a first-person diarylike commentary, Sandell recounts the gradual realization from her young adulthood onward that her charming, larger-than-life Argentine father, bragging of war metals, degrees from prestigious universities and acquaintances with famous people, had lied egregiously to his family about his past and accomplishments. Growing up with her two younger sisters and parents first in California, then in Bronxville, N.Y., the author records signs along the way that her father, a professor of economics with a volatile temperament and autocratic manner, was hiding something, from his inexplicable trips out of town, increasing paranoid isolation, early name change from Schmidt to Sandell, to massive credit-card fraud. Interviewing her father for her first magazine article, the author resolved to check his sources and even flew later to confront his past in Argentina, only to discover the truth. Feeling betrayed, guilty for exposing him and mistrustful in her relationships with men, Sandell numbed herself by abusing Ambien and alcohol. Her depiction of her rehab adventure is rather pat and tidy, and she does not address the notion that her own creativity might have sprung from her father's very duplicity. However, Sandell's method of storytelling is marvelously unique and will surely spark imitators. (July)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"The Impostor's Daughter is funny, frank, and absolutely engaging..." Susan Orlean, author of The Orchid Thief

Review:

"Sophisticated and spellbinding...The Impostor's Daughter, is rife with dramatic family dynamics, secrets, and subterfuges....By uncovering the buried truths of [her father's] past life, she claims her own coming-of-age story." Elle

Review:

"A stunner. From the opening page of Laurie Sandell's illustrated memoir, I was hooked.....You'll finish this page-turner in a single night — but the story will stay with you for much longer." Carole Radziwill, author of What Remains

About the Author

Laurie Sandell is a contributing editor at Glamour, where she writes cover stories, features, and personal essays. She has also written for Esquire, GQ, New York and In Style, among others. In her twenties, she spent four years traveling around the world, having unsavory experiences she later justified as "material."

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

Shoshana, January 9, 2010 (view all comments by Shoshana)
I notice this book because the cover was bright and interesting, and because it was in the graphic novels section and the subtitle is "A True Memoir." "True" is inserted with a caret, so I knew that truth and memory would be an issue. Given the cover illustration, in which Sandell depicts herself with face obscured by a photo of her father, it seemed that identity would be a focus as well. I flipped through the book. The appealing interior illustrations are also brightly colored in the palate of the dust jacket. They were engaging and the lettering was easy to read. The flap promised a good story.

The Impostor's Daughter is about Sandell's father and his profound effects on her life. Sandell does a terrific job of representing her passionate, larger-than-life father and herself as an adoring child. Over time, odd things happen and discrepancies creep in. Just as Jeannette Walls so eloquently described the crumbling of a child's idealization of her parents in The Glass Castle, so Sandell shows the reader the erosion of her trust in her father's professed life story. As the evidence mounts that he is not what he says he is, Sandell moves from passive discovery to active uncovering, investigating the "facts" of her father's life and finding them at best grandiosely distorted; at worst, fabricated. The article she wrote about this process is available at Esquire (but read it after you read the book). This story of disillusionment co-occurs and intersects with her own adult development, where telling her father's stories stands in for telling her own stories, where her romantic relationships are ambivalent, and where she must eventually come to terms with her growing addiction to Ambien.

I'd have wished for a last panel that didn't show Sandell beginning to write the book, but this is a minor complaint.

Read The Impostor's Daughter with The Glass Castle, or with other graphic memoirs such as Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis, Alison Bechdel's Fun Home, and Art Spiegelman's In the Shadow of No Towers for an interesting range of graphic styles and subjects.
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Holly Ord, November 19, 2009 (view all comments by Holly Ord)
I could not stop reading The Imposter’s Daughter. I opened it, started reading and did not put it down until the next morning, when I was completely finished. I have read the book twice, both times taking me no more than two sittings and during the first time, I actually carried it with me to the bathroom a few times. It is a story that has yet to get old and I definitely foresee myself reading it again–It is that good. I really respect the course that Laurie Sandell has taken in her life, whether it be good, bad or destructive because she did wind up on her feet and rebuilding an impressive professional career. She had the nerve to air her family’s dirty laundry not because she wanted to have something over her father, but because her story is one that needed to be told and was a pleasure to experience however briefly and she did it successfully, with wit and honesty.
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gaby317, July 18, 2009 (view all comments by gaby317)
Synopsis:

The Imposter's Daughter: A True Memoir is described as a "graphic memoir" because the cartoons are supposed to be largely nonfiction. The work is divided into two main parts. In Part One of The Imposter's Daughter, we follow Laurie Sandell from her childhood hero worship of her father through the slow discovery of his lies and deception to how this experience shaped Laurie's early adult years. Charismatic, good looking and confident, Laurie knew her father to be a former green beret with a law degree from NYU and a PhD from Columbia University who served as an economist and advisor to Henry Kissinger and had grown up with fabulous wealth in Argentina. He was larger than life and full of exciting stories of his past, his teaching career, and the businesses that he was working on. As the eldest and his favorite child, they shared a special bond. But after her father left the post as an economics professor, he spent his time at home and became increasingly paranoid, eccentric controlling. As his life unravelled, so did their closeness. It wasn't until after college and when she was applying for her first credit card that Laurie discovered that her father had taken out credit cards and thousands of dollars of debt in her name. Justifiably upset, she contacted her family - and they learn that he'd taken out credit cards and loans under all of their names. Their house is nearly lost from under them. Laurie's life is fluid and she decides to spend the next four years exploring the world. She travels to Israel, Japan, Jordan, Paris, Egypt, Mexico, and Thailand, undoubtedly breaking hearts while experimenting. She works as a stripper in Tokyo, seduces lesbian women in Israel, and grows addicted to presciption drugs. Laurie returns to America and works as a secretary by day while researching and writing about her father's deceptions at night. Part One ends with the publication of Laurie's article "My Father, the Fraud" in Esquire Magazine.

In Part Two, Laurie starts work at a popular woman's magazine where she excels at celebrity interviews and builds her reputation. She discovers that she has a gift for building relationships with celebrities - "most of them lived in emotional castles surrounded by moats, and I'd been building a tower around myself for thirty-two years." While she builds her professional life, Laurie slowly becomes addicted to prescription drugs. Although her relationship with her father and family deteriorates, but Laurie continues digging into her father's past. Reaching out to distant acquaintances, strangers, and estranged family, Laurie slowly pieces together her father's life.

Review:

I had intended to just glance through the book and somehow read it all in one sitting. The first surprise was that the entire work is a graphic memoir - a "nonfiction cartoon" written and illustrated by Laurie Sandell. The book is beautifully done - from the cover and the drawings to the writing and pacing. It worked together so well that I find it hard to believe the story is true, although it likely is, after all it's even called The Imposter's Daughter: A True Memoir. Warning: some of the graphics are explicit. The book targets an adult audience.

This as a fun summer read. I'm looking forward to more of Laurie Sandell's work in the future.

Publisher: Little, Brown and Company (July 29, 2009), 256 pages. The book will be available on July 29, 2009 but can be ordered in advance through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Borders, and Powells.

Courtesy of Hatchette Books Group.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780316033053
Subtitle:
A True Memoir
Author:
Sandell, Laurie
Publisher:
Back Bay Books
Subject:
Journalists
Subject:
United states
Subject:
General
Subject:
Personal Memoirs
Subject:
Graphic Novels
Subject:
Journalists -- United States.
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20100712
Binding:
Hardcover
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
272
Dimensions:
9.56x6.46x1.16 in. 1.59 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Graphic Novels » Alternative
Fiction and Poetry » Graphic Novels » General
Health and Self-Help » Self-Help » General

The Impostor's Daughter: A True Memoir Used Hardcover
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Product details 272 pages Little Brown and Company - English 9780316033053 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "In this delightfully composed graphic novel, journalist Sandell (Glamour) illustrates a touchingly youthful story about a daughter's gushing love for her father. Using a winning mixture of straightforward comic-book illustrations with a first-person diarylike commentary, Sandell recounts the gradual realization from her young adulthood onward that her charming, larger-than-life Argentine father, bragging of war metals, degrees from prestigious universities and acquaintances with famous people, had lied egregiously to his family about his past and accomplishments. Growing up with her two younger sisters and parents first in California, then in Bronxville, N.Y., the author records signs along the way that her father, a professor of economics with a volatile temperament and autocratic manner, was hiding something, from his inexplicable trips out of town, increasing paranoid isolation, early name change from Schmidt to Sandell, to massive credit-card fraud. Interviewing her father for her first magazine article, the author resolved to check his sources and even flew later to confront his past in Argentina, only to discover the truth. Feeling betrayed, guilty for exposing him and mistrustful in her relationships with men, Sandell numbed herself by abusing Ambien and alcohol. Her depiction of her rehab adventure is rather pat and tidy, and she does not address the notion that her own creativity might have sprung from her father's very duplicity. However, Sandell's method of storytelling is marvelously unique and will surely spark imitators. (July)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "The Impostor's Daughter is funny, frank, and absolutely engaging..."
"Review" by , "Sophisticated and spellbinding...The Impostor's Daughter, is rife with dramatic family dynamics, secrets, and subterfuges....By uncovering the buried truths of [her father's] past life, she claims her own coming-of-age story."
"Review" by , "A stunner. From the opening page of Laurie Sandell's illustrated memoir, I was hooked.....You'll finish this page-turner in a single night — but the story will stay with you for much longer."
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