Motherwhelmed: An Art Historical and Somewhat Scientific Graphic Memoir (in progress)
We can all feel motherwhelmed, either by our parents or our kids. But the feeling is particularly acute for today’s working mom.
In my story, I’m a skeptical academic, married and undecided about children, yet blindsided by a supernatural encounter with my mother’s mother. I soon get pregnant and have a baby girl, and six months later, my mother dies unexpectedly from complications of multiple sclerosis. These generations would not have met if I hadn’t believed that spooky episode and acted on it. But it wasn’t real, was it? I seem to find connections where others see coincidence.
When my second daughter is born with a severe heart defect (she’s fine now!), even more mysteries surface, prompting quirky explorations into genetic destiny, Egyptian mythology, and French feminism. Along the way, I use science and art history to illustrate the ways that mothers are both uniquely disadvantaged and supremely privileged.
Blending black and white comics with exuberant gouache paintings, this is a vivid story of the mothers and daughters in my family, how we hurt and heal, (and what we wore).
Is this book any good? Impossible to confirm or deny, but my daughters say it is.