cover image This Woman’s Work

This Woman’s Work

Julie Delporte. Drawn & Quarterly, $24.95 (256p) ISBN 978-1-77046-345-5

Womanhood is an education in grace under pressure in this melancholy meditation on art, femininity, and longing. Delporte has lived a life scarred by sexual assault, degradation, and diminishment on the basis of her gender—but she also celebrates moments touched by bliss. This contradictory reality, rendered here in vibrant, feathery pencils and inks, will be familiar to many women readers. Delporte wants a child but fears the loss of autonomy that motherhood (especially as opposed to fatherhood) brings. She yearns for love, but is sent into anxious spirals by its arrival. She tries to embrace her artistic passions fully and freely, but struggles when putting pen to paper loses its joy. How, she wonders, can one live proudly as a woman when one is restrained and constrained by societal expectations and inherited anxieties? Delporte’s confident linework is at once soft—beachy blues, rumpled fabric—and almost cruelly stark. By the final page, Delporte has shared no easy answers. But the cumulative effect of her work lands soft as a child’s whimper and as strong as a heroine’s laugh. [em](Jan.) [/em]