Letting It Go

Miriam Katin, Author
Miriam Katin. Drawn & Quarterly, $24.95 (160p) ISBN 978-1-77046-103-1
Reviewed on: 02/25/2013
Release date: 03/19/2013
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Animator Katin’s incomparable graphic memoir, We Are On Our Own, followed her childhood flight across Hungary with her mother, fleeing the Nazis in the last days of World War II. In this, her long-awaited and only slightly lesser follow-up, we find Katin as a neurotic middle-aged procrastinator battling cockroaches and her husband’s clarinet playing in their New York apartment. Their son Ilan has decided to move to Berlin and wants Miriam to use her Hungarian ancestry to help him apply for E.U. citizenship. But the idea that her son will live in the heart of the old Reich dredges up a storm of fury and confusion for Miriam: “This is like handing my baby over to the wolves.” The sketchy memoir that follows is Katin’s heartfelt but still playful account of coming to terms with the Holocaust’s legacy. It is a rich vein to mine, illustrated with great looping eddies of colored pencil. But Katin is less able to generate life outside own head, her husband and son being particularly flat characterizations. One exception is the too-short inclusion of a gruff, wise Turkish poet friend from Israel in the 1960s, whom she calls decades later for advice. (Apr.)
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