cover image Okay, Universe: Chronicles of a Woman in Politics

Okay, Universe: Chronicles of a Woman in Politics

Valérie Plante and Delphie Côté-Lacroix, trans. from the French by Helge Dascher. Drawn & Quarterly, $21.95 trade paper (104p) ISBN 978-1-77046-411-7

This upbeat mini-memoir celebrates the opportunities of democracy through one barrier-breaking politician’s run for local office. Plante, the first woman elected as mayor of Montreal, was an activist working for nonprofit groups when she announced, “Okay, universe... I’m ready for a new challenge!” just in time for the group Action/Reaction Montreal to approach her about running for city council. Remembering that “men overestimate their qualifications by 30 percent and women underestimate theirs by 30 percent,” she put her fears behind her and got to work. Her husband and two daughters supported her as she biked around town, knocking on doors, raising funds, assembling a volunteer campaign team and a wardrobe, and talking to voters as she built a winning platform. She dealt with sexist comments and misogynist graffiti on her posters, but also found allies and constituents eager to support her. Plante focuses on the nitty-gritty, grassroots experiences of launching her political career, and ends before her mayoral run. Côté-Lacroix’s bright painted art, blocking out Montreal and its people in bold shapes and colors, complements Plante’s optimism. This inviting and accessible blueprint will appeal to anyone, but will particularly resonate with women who are keen to get involved in politics. (Oct.)