Leanne Shapton and Adrian Tomine

present

Was She Pretty?

and

Killing and Dying

with Q&A moderated by HILLARY L. CHUTE

This event includes a book signing

Date

Feb
4
Thursday
February 4, 2016
7:00 PM

Location

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Tickets

This event is free; no tickets are required.

Harvard Book Store welcomes illustrator and co-author of Women in Clothes LEANNE SHAPTON and Optic Nerve cartoonist ADRIAN TOMINE for a discussion of their graphic novels Was She Pretty? and Killing and Dying. There will be a Q&A with the audience moderated by comics scholar HILLARY L. CHUTE following Shapton's and Tomine's presentations.  

About Was She Pretty?

What's left when a relationship ends? Where does jealousy come from? Delicately and sensitively, Leanne Shapton (Swimming Studies) ruminates on ex-lovers, and our lovers' ex-lovers. A few expressive pencil lines outline a long-abandoned winter coat here, an ineffably alluring Mona Lisa smile there. Each double page describes the way all exes are captured: as impossible to live up to as a Polaroid taken at a flattering angle.

This new paperback edition of Was She Pretty? brings the reader deep into a circle of phantoms: its intimate liaisons, embarrassing secrets, and sardonic anecdotes. Shapton introduces the obsessives and the dilettantes, the poets and the actresses, the people with great hair and the people with idiosyncratic clothes. As funny as it is insightful, Was She Pretty? speaks to a central human concern: How do we compare? Elegantly drawn and perfectly narrated, the pages of Was She Pretty? are a testimonial to the power of observation and misapprehension.

About Killing and Dying:

Killing and Dying is a stunning showcase of the possibilities of the graphic novel medium and a wry exploration of loss, creative ambition, identity, and family dynamics. With this work, Adrian Tomine (Shortcomings, Scenes from an Impending Marriage) reaffirms his place not only as one of the most significant creators of contemporary comics but as one of the great voices of modern American literature. His gift for capturing emotion and intellect resonates here: the weight of love and its absence, the pride and disappointment of family, the anxiety and hopefulness of being alive in the twenty-first century.

"Amber Sweet" shows the disastrous impact of mistaken identity in a hyper-connected world; "A Brief History of the Art Form Known as Hortisculpture" details the invention and destruction of a vital new art form in short comic strips; "Translated, from the Japanese" is a lush, full-color display of storytelling through still images; the title story, "Killing and Dying," centers on parenthood, mortality, and stand-up comedy. In six interconnected, darkly funny stories, Tomine forms a quietly moving portrait of contemporary life.

Tomine is a master of the small gesture, equally deft at signaling emotion via a subtle change of expression or writ large across landscapes illustrated in full color. Killing and Dying is a fraught, realist masterpiece.

Adrian Tomine
Adrian Tomine

Adrian Tomine

Adrian Tomine was born in 1974 in Sacramento, California. He began self-publishing his comic book series Optic Nerve. His comics have been anthologized in publications such as McSweeney's, Best American Comics, and Best American Nonrequired Reading, and his graphic novel Shortcomings was a New York Times Notable Book of 2007. Since 1999, Tomine has been a regular contributor to The New Yorker. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and daughter.

Hillary L. Chute
Hillary L. Chute

Hillary L. Chute

Hillary L. Chute is the author of Disaster Drawn: Visual Witness, Comics, and Documentary Form and Professor of English and Art + Design at Northeastern University.  She is also the author of Outside the Box: Interviews with Contemporary Cartoonists and Graphic Women: Life Narrative and Contemporary Comics, and Associate Editor of Art Spiegelman’s MetaMaus. She has written for publications including ArtforumBookforumThe Believer, and Poetry.

Leanne Shapton
Leanne Shapton

Leanne Shapton

Leanne Shapton, an illustrator, author, and publisher based in New York City, is a cofounder of J&L Books. She has been the art director of the National Post's Avenue page and Saturday Night magazine, and from 2008 to 2009 was also the art director for the New York Times Op-Ed page. Shapton is the author of six books: TorontoWas She Pretty?; Important Artifacts and Personal Property from the Collection of Lenore Doolan and Harold Morris, Including Books, Street Fashion, and JewelryNative Trees of Canada; Swimming Studies, which won the 2013 NBCC Award for Autobiography; and Sunday Night Movies. She most recently coauthored Women in Clothes along with Sheila Heti and Heidi Julavits.
 

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 2 minutes

As you exit the station, reverse your direction and walk east along Mass. Ave. in front of the Cambridge Savings Bank. Cross Dunster St. and proceed along Mass. Ave for three more blocks. You will pass Au Bon Pain, JP Licks, and TD Bank. Harvard Book Store is located at the corner of Mass. Ave. and Plympton St.

Unable to attend a Harvard Book Store author event? You can still pre-order a signed book by one of our visiting authors.

While we can't guarantee fulfillment of a signed book pre-order, our authors are almost always able to sign extra books to fulfill such orders.

Ordering a signed book on harvard.com:

  • Add the book to your shopping cart and then click Checkout.
  • Specify in Order Comments that you want a signed copy of the book.
  • Please note: online orders for signed copies must be placed at least one business day before the event. If you are ordering the day of, please call us instead.

Ordering a signed book by phone:

  • Call us at (617) 661-1515 and one of our booksellers will take your order. Specify you'd like a signed copy.
  • If you are requesting a personalized inscription and/or requesting your book be shipped, we'll need to take down credit card information. If you are planning to pick up the signed book in the store, you can pay on pick-up.

FAQ:

Can I request a personalized inscription?
Unless otherwise noted, we are happy to take requests for the author to sign your book to a specific person, but we can't guarantee it. If you do get a personalized inscription, the book will be non-returnable. We will require credit card information when you place the order.

Do signed books cost more?
There is no extra fee for a signed book!

Do I have to pick it up in the store, or can you deliver my signed book?
As with all web or phone orders, we can hold your book for in-store pickup, or ship it anywhere in the country.

I am planning to attend an author event. Do I need to pre-order a book?
No need. We'll be selling books at the event, and nearly all of our events include a signing at the end of the talk.

More questions? Give us a call!

Purchase the Book
Featured event books will be for sale at the event for 20% off. Thank you for supporting this author series with your purchases.
General Info
(617) 661-1515
info@harvard.com

Media Inquiries
(617) 661-1424 x6
mediainquiries@harvard.com

Accessibility Inquiries
access@harvard.com

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