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Calling Dr. Laura: A Graphic Memoirby Nicole Georges
Superb. This memoir is another good example for me of someone who is living a parallel life to my own. I always find solace in knowing that I'm not alone in experiencing trauma from family, love, or life. The voice is wonderful and the artwork is great.
In this graphic memoir, Nicole Georges shares how she went from believing her father was dead throughout her childhood to visiting a psychic who debunks the family myth to eventually calling "tough love" talk radio host Dr. Laura Schlessinger. Additionally, Georges includes memories from her childhood regarding her mother's marriages and live-in boyfriends as a way to reveal past and present anxieties regarding not only the title situation but George's own relationships. It's beautifully written and hilarious at times, but more often heart-wrenching. Also, I was so excited to read a novel that includes illustrations of Portland cityscapes, cross streets, and bars!
Synopses & Reviews
When Nicole Georges was two-years-old, her family told her that her father was dead. When she was twenty-three, a psychic told her he was alive. Her sister, saddled with guilt, admits that the psychic is right and that the whole family has conspired to keep him a secret. Sent into a tailspin about her identity, Nicole turns to radio talk-show host Dr. Laura Schlessinger for advice.
Packed cover-to-cover with heartfelt and disarming black-and-white illustrations, Calling Dr. Laura tells the story of what happens to you when you are raised in a family of secrets, and what happens to your brain (and heart) when you learn the truth from an unlikely source. Part coming-of-age and part coming-out story, Calling Dr. Laura marks the arrival of an exciting and winning new voice in graphic literature.
"The title of this twee but engaging graphic memoir overstates the role of the famous radio psychologist, who makes a mere cameo. The book is really about the author's struggle with her secretive family and the mystery of her father's identity. As a child, Nicole believed her father had died when she was very young. Father figures remained elusive throughout her formative years. After relocating to Portland, Ore., in her 20s, Nicole receives a palm reading as a birthday gift. The results convince her that her biological father is still alive, and she is driven to seek the truth from her fractious relatives. Amid all of this, Nicole juggles difficult romantic relationships with her decision to keep the fact that she is gay from the very same mother from whom she seeks the truth. Georges's naïve line art and sometimes labored visual storytelling is balanced by humor and incisive characterizations. However, this ambitious family narrative could have used a stronger editorial eye. Despite her story being too long, the author approaches it with the tenacity of a detective. Among other factors — including clever asides and several terrific jokes — a deeply affecting epilogue makes Georges's tale well worth the telling." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Nicole Georges spins a riveting family mystery. There's a powerful chemistry going on between her delicate drawings and the probing honesty of her investigations. Calling Dr. Laura is disarming and haunting, hip and sweet, all at once." Alison Bechdel, author of Fun Home
"Nicole Georges' Calling Dr. Laura is an engrossing, lovable, smart and ultimately poignant trip through a harrowing emotional bottleneck in family life. It's great art, great writing, a great story — I can't wait for what's next from Nicole. What a wonderful book." Rachel Maddow
"Anyone who knows Portland, OR. will know Nicole J. Georges, the witty girl with the cat glasses and a devoted following for her talents as an illustrator and zinester....Whatever the results, one can bet that this new work from Georges will be a good time." Lambda Literary, "Five New Queer Voices to Watch Out For"
In a charming graphic memoir that Alison Bechdel calls "riveting," "disarming," and "haunting," a psychic reading spurs Portland 'zinester Nicole Georges to uncover an old secret about her father and the family story she never knew.
About the Author
Nicole J. Georges is an e-zine publisher, illustrator, and pet-portrait artist who teaches self-publishing and autobiographical-comic workshops. She has contributed illustrations to a number of publications, including Bitch and Herbivore.
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