In this week's edition of Endnotes, we feature Feeding Ghosts (MCD, Mar.), a graphic memoir from Tessa Hulls that explores the lives and trauma of three generations of the author's family in China, Hong Kong, and Northern California. Publishers Weekly's starred review called the book "a revelatory work as layered as the history it explores."

Here's how the book came together.

Tessa Hulls, Author and Artist

“This is the story I spent my whole life running from, and I went to great lengths—literally to Antarctica—to try and avoid confronting this history. But on some level, I always knew that my role as an artist and writer would require me to give voice to my family’s ghosts. I came in with a background as a painter and writer, but I knew only a graphic novel would allow me to blend the complex threads of the story I wanted to tell.”

“The book is built in trinities—China, Hong Kong, America; grandmother, mother, daughter; past, present, future—and the cover needed to reflect this structure. The central image of me and my mom embracing, with the dual ghosts of my grandmother behind us, forms a triangle that touches on all these themes. Feeding Ghosts leans into complexity and contradiction, and the cover reflects a story that is both dark and tender.”

Anjali Singh, Agent, Ayesha Pande Literary

“I was blown away from the very first time I saw Tessa’s work. It was so clear that she was both a fantastic artist and a fantastic writer; in addition she had an incredible story to tell, and the intersection of family history and family trauma with broader history is right up my alley. I’ve always had a huge affinity for works that combine art and pictures.”

Sean McDonald, Publisher, MCD/FSG

“The acquiring editor, Daphne Durham, had a very strong personal reaction to Tessa’s work, but really we all felt the same desperate need to publish Feeding Ghosts as soon as we were exposed to it. Tessa taught herself the graphic novel as a form in order to tell this story.”