What It Is

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 5/13/2008
  • Publisher: Drawn and Quarterly

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"It" is a highly imaginative, image-and-words collage, mashed-up with a how-to-write book and highlighted with autobiographical snippets. Barry's purpose is to urge readers to interact with their own imagery, ideas, and stories, then write and/or draw them. The text wanders through a colorful, free-form garden of birds, animals, flowers, and snippets of letters and quotations, almost demanding that readers break any habits of associating "creating" with fear-inducing concepts like "assignments" or "rules." As her own form of exercises, she invites readers to write what first comes to mind, using various prompts and tricks to disable inhibitions and the hypercritical overseer in the head. Doodles, hypothetical questions, ornate borders, and dialog all become grist. Create images, and words will come; create words, and images will come. What It Is will frustrate readers who want to follow a clear trail of ideas and pictures but delight those who take the time to let their minds taste all of Barry's visual and literate smorgasbord. For teen and adult collections.M.C. Copyright Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Author Biography

Cartoonist, novelist, and playwright Lynda Barry is the creator behind the
syndicated strip Ernie Pook’s Comeek, featuring the incomparable Marlys and Freddy. Her books include One Hundred Demons and The Good Times Are Killing Me.

Table of Contents

Praise for Lynda Barry:

“Barry is, underneath the wonky handwriting and the quirky, naïve drawings, a great memoirist . . . Like [Tobias] Wolff and [Dave] Eggers, she finds a tone that accommodates self-criticism and self-irony without tipping over into self-loathing . . . but what she is particularly good at is resonance.” —The New York Times
“Barry is not just a storyteller, she’s an evangelist who urges people to pick up a pen—or a brush . . . and look at their own lives with fresh, forgiving eyes.” —San Francisco Chronicle
“America’s leading cartoon artist of childhood angst . . . The precise rightness of Barry’s smallest observation puts TV’s The Wonder Years to shame.” —Entertainment Weekly

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