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Was She Pretty? by Leanne Shapton

Was She Pretty?

by Leanne Shapton

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Really interesting and creative book, based on real stories about people's exes, and illustrated by the author. I also liked the Kierkegaard quote at the beginning. ( )
  bearette24 | Dec 16, 2012 |
What a loaded question. If there's one thing to take away from this book, it's that you should never ask this one. Was she pretty? Of course she was.

The book is a series of very short bios, usually one or two sentences about an ex. For example, "Katya's boyfriend never stopped sending her postcards" or "Isaac would not let Rebecca answer the telephone in his apartment." Mini stories on one side of the page, sketches on the other.

I can't decide if this would be a great book or a depressing book to read right after a break up. Maybe both. And maybe that's why the detatched sweetness of the book is so effective. ( )
1 vote helpfulsnowman | Sep 7, 2010 |
Sort of a book version of the song 88 lines about 44 women. But from a woman's point of view. All the ways that the very existence of an ex-girlfriend can intimidate the current one. Very fast read, but with plenty to make you nod and wince with recognition. ( )
  kristenn | Jan 7, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0374299269, Hardcover)


In this brilliant gem of a book, artist/writer Leanne Shapton weaves together a voyeuristic tale of love and life through epigrammatic vignettes and sleek line drawings. Entire relationships are encapsulated in a few, stingingly perfect lines: "Colleen was Walter's ex-girlfriend from med school. She loved to dance with men at weddings." Pricking our insecurities, Shapton introduces us to Kim, whose ex "kept a drawerful of love letters in a kitchen drawer . . . She would stare at it while she cooked." And Ben's ex, "a physiotherapist for the U.S. men's and women's Olympic swim teams. She wore small white shorts year-round."

Fascinated by her own jealousy, Shapton interviewed acquaintances about their anxieties and peccadilloes, and the result is a book of surpassing originality: one of those unusual books that comes along to delight us all, like An Exaltation of Larks or Love, Loss, and What I Wore or Griffin and Sabine. Was She Pretty? can also share the shelf with the work of the legendary William Steig, whose early, psychologically revealing work inspired Shapton. An unflinching observer of human behavior, she invites us to peer into the hearts and minds of her characters--while reminding us that we shouldn't be surprised if we see ourselves staring right back.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:34 -0400)

Prose and drawings about human relations, lovers and jealousy.

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