Dare to Disappoint: Growing Up in Turkey

%C3%96zge Samanci. FSG/Ferguson, $16.99 trade paper (200p) ISBN 978-0-374-31698-3
Turkish artist Samanci's graphic memoir tells many stories. It's a simple collection of her childhood memories (sent out to buy milk, she instead sneaks into the local school to find her sister); a description of life under a military government ("Every Turk is born a soldier!" her textbook declares); and a fearless examination of her struggle to escape her father's expectations. If teenage Samanci doesn't gain admission to Turkey's finest university and become an engineer, her father worries that she'll die penniless. (Meanwhile, she idolizes Jacques Cousteau.) Year after year, she takes exams, tries to keep up with her academically talented older sister, and wrestles with a crushing sense of inadequacy. It's only when friends tutoring her admire the doodles on her math notes—"I love the coffee-stain people," one says. "You can be... an artist!"—that her true self is revealed. Samanci's caricatures of herself and the people around her, often drawn wide-eyed with surprise, make the sporadic episodes of political strife and urban violence oddly incongruous. But they're a crucial component of the story, one that resounds with honesty and humor. Ages 14–up. Agent: Jason Yarn, Jason Yarn Literary Agency. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 11/09/2015
Release date: 11/17/2015
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