Archive for April, 2012

Are You My Mother? Tour

April 27th, 2012


Here’s the current window display at 57th Street Books in Chicago. (Thank you, Hannah!)

And here is a picture of dinner in New York last week following the Publishing Triangle Awards, at which my amazing erstwhile publisher Nancy Bereano, of Firebrand Books, presented me with the Bill Whitehead Lifetime Achievement Award.


That’s Nancy on the left. My lovely girlfriend Holly Rae Taylor on the right. My friend Sarah Van Arsdale next to Holly. (go to Sarah’s blog for an illustration of the awards ceremony) And in the background, the poet David Groff and his partner Clay Williams, and the novelist Sion Dayson.

Are You My Mother? has been getting some very good press. Here’s an interview with the redoubtable Maud Newton on the Barnes & Noble website. And a very wonderful review in Entertainment Weekly.

I’m starting off on an intense book tour next week, a city a day. Unfortunately it launches on May Day in NYC, when Occupy Wall Street is calling for a general strike. But if you’re not busy blockading the Manhattan Bridge or the Holland Tunnel, and/or you get out of jail early, come on up to Bunns and Noodle.

Here’s the tour schedule. Please come to a reading!

Are You My Mother? book tour, May 2012

Tuesday May 1, New York City
Barnes & Noble, 7pm
2289 Broadway @ 82nd St.

Wednesday May 2, Cambridge
The Brattle Theatre, 6pm
40 Brattle Street
Sponsored by the Harvard Bookstore

Thursday May 3, Philadelphia
Free Library of Philadelphia, 7:30
1901 Vine St.

Friday May 4, Washington, DC
Politics & Prose, 7pm
5015 Connecticut Ave NW

Saturday May 5, Toronto
Toronto Comic Arts Festival

Sunday May 6, St Louis
Left Bank Books, 4pm
321 N. 10th St.

Monday May 7, Milwaukee
Boswell Book Co., 7pm
2559 N. Downer Ave

Tuesday May 8, Berkeley
Books Inc, 7pm
1760 Fourth Street

Wednesday May 9, San Francisco
The Booksmith, 7:30
1644 Haight Street

Thursday May 10, Los Angeles
Los Angeles Public Library, 7pm
Format: On-stage interview with Deborah Vankin
Mark Taper Auditorium—Central Library
630 W. Fifth Street

Friday May 11, Seattle
University Bookstore, 7pm
4326 University Way NE

Saturday May 12, Portland
The Bagdad Theater, 5pm
3702 SE Hawthorne Blvd
Sponsored by Powell’s

Wednesday May 16, Chicago
Swedish American Museum, 7:30pm
5211 N. Clark St.
Sponsored by Women and Children First Bookstore


April 17th, 2012

Man. I have been trying and trying to find time to write a blog post, but I have never been so busy in my life. Thanks to Mentor and others for noting some of the recent developments around here—the Guggenheim, The joint review of my new memoir and Jeanette Winterson’s new memoir in New York Magazine. And also this week’s New Yorker profile—which the author Judith Thurman is having a live chat about on Wednesday.

Here’s a small close-up of the illustration I got to do for The New Yorker piece.

blog of NYer pic

Any one of these items would have sent me to bed for a week, but they’re all happening at once. Plus this week I’m traveling from Chicago (where I’m teaching at the University of Chicago until June) to NYC to attend the Publishing Triangle Awards where I will be receiving the Bill Whitehead Lifetime Achievement Award. I protested that I am too young to receive a lifetime achievement award, but by the end of all this I may have aged into the proper bracket.

Here’s what I’ve done since finishing Are You My Mother on February 3rd: Took my mother on a trip to Las Vegas. Uprooted myself and moved away from my home to teach in Chicago. Co-curated an exhibit of my work with my colleague here, Hillary Chute. Had an opening for the show. Did multiple public talks, including a Graphic Novel Symposium at Colorado College last week with Hillary and Chris Ware. Drew a self portrait to accompany The New Yorker profile. (below are some studies.) Received copies of my book hot off the press and spotted billions of tiny errors, and some not so tiny, which took me a long time to recover from. Did many publicity interviews, with very fancy people like Lev Grossman at Time Magazine, and Maud Newton, though these are not out yet.

But the big thing has been teaching a class twice a week, on autobiographical comics, with Hillary Chute. These kids are very smart and it is hard staying even half a step ahead of them. Plus Hillary has us reading all kinds of dense, difficult autobiographical theory that I barely understand.

I want to return to Jeanette Winterson for a moment. In some interview I read with her recently, she said that she feels ill if she can’t read every day. And I would say that I start to feel a little ill, or at least hollow and insubstantial, if I can’t write every day—at least a very minimal diary entry or blog post about what I’ve been doing. And I haven’t been able to do that in many weeks now.

I hope that this post makes me feel better.

Here are some of my studies for The New Yorker illustration. It was very helpful to have a drawing to work on while I’m living in this strange faraway place.



Guggenheim Fellowship

April 13th, 2012

[This is Mentor. I’m sending out a quick message until she has a chance to post in more detail, but as you may have heard Alison Bechdel has been awarded a Guggenheim Foundation fellowship for 2012.

Here are some pointers to a few of the announcements:

– On the Guggenheim Foundation website.

– From the LA Times .

– Here’s my favorite, from the Burlington (VT) Free Press:
Bolton woman recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship