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Flying Couch, Amy Kurzweil’s debut, tells the stories of three unforgettable women. Amy weaves her own coming-of-age as a young Jewish artist into the narrative of her mother, a psychologist, and Bubbe, her grandmother, a World War II survivor who escaped from the Warsaw Ghetto by disguising herself as a gentile. Captivated by Bubbe’s story, Amy turns to her sketchbooks, teaching herself to draw as a way to cope with what she discovers. Entwining the voices and histories of these three wise, hilarious, and very different women, Amy creates a portrait not only of what it means to be part of a family, but also of how each generation bears the imprint of the past.
A retelling of the inherited Holocaust narrative now two generations removed, Flying Couch uses Bubbe’s real testimony to investigate the legacy of trauma, the magic of family stories, and the meaning of home. With her playful, idiosyncratic sensibility, Amy traces the way our memories and our families shape who we become. The result is this bold illustrated memoir, both an original coming-of-age story and an important entry into the literature of the Holocaust.
Amy Kurzweil’s comics appear regularly in The Huffington Post, and her series GutterFACE is hosted by the literary webcast drDOCTOR. Her prose has appeared in The Toast, Hobart, Washington Square and other publications. Kurzweil has a BA from Stanford University and an MFA from The New School. In 2013, she was the recipient of a Norman Mailer Fellowship. She teaches writing and comics at Parsons The New School for Design and at the Fashion Institute of Technology. She lives in Brooklyn.