cover image Blossoms and Bones: Drawing a Life Back Together

Blossoms and Bones: Drawing a Life Back Together

Kim Krans. HarperOne, $28.99 (208p) ISBN 978-0-06-298638-2

A combination diary and sketchbook, Krans’s depiction of her 40 days spent at an ashram recovering from an eating disorder, divorce, and multiple miscarriages is raw and, for anyone who’s wrestled the demons of perfectionism, intensely relatable. Krans gives herself the task of “drawing the feeling,” even as narrative and distraction try to lure her away. The ruthless internal voice that is undoubtedly responsible for some of Krans’s self-sabotage (binge eating and torpedoing professional and personal relationships) makes for a rigorous co-narrator, coupled with a deeper, more nurturing voice. “I want to draw this,” she says, next to an arrow pointing to a moonlit mountain, “not this”: a skeleton huddled atop a pile of “piss, shit, food, tears.” But eventually she embraces a “both and” mentality, represented by a bouncy, shifting “pair of dimes” (get it?). Full of white space, black space, scribbles, and charts, Krans’s work literally pushes the boundaries of the page. The result is vulnerable and experimental, though some readers may grow impatient with, for example, six pages of the words thank you. But in a moment where self-love messages are often glib, Krans’s attempt is enjoyably messy. [em](Mar.) [/em]