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American Widow by Alissa Torres

American Widow

by Alissa Torres

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Graphic memoir of a woman who married a Colombian whose green card had run out and their last happy year together culminating in her pregnancy as he starts a new job at WTC on 9/10/11. Because it is a "graphic" book, it is most illustrations; however, the text is very emotional and personal as the accounts her journey through shock, pain, birth and rebirth while tossed into a storm of bureaucracy, politics, patriotism, mourning, consolation and motherhood. ( )
  bogopea | Sep 12, 2011 |
This is a memoir by a young woman, 7 months pregnant, whose husband died in the World Trade Center on 9/11. She talks of the lack of information, the kindly support turning eventually into resentment, the red tape, and the press.
Torres says that she thought her story needed to be a graphic book because the tragedy was so much about images. It's beautifully told, and the art work is lovely.
  mulliner | Oct 31, 2010 |
This is a graphic novel about a woman who's husband died in the World Trade Center on 9/11--particularly tragic because she was 7 1/2 months pregnant at the time and his first day of work there was 9/10. I expected this to be a story about her love for her husband and how she managed to live her life with her son after the tragedy, but I was a little disappointed. Mostly this focused instead on how hard she had to work to get any aid from charities and how the charities were constantly ripping her off. ( )
  stubbyfingers | Aug 31, 2010 |
I liked how the author showed the wrinkles in what I had assumed was a clean story of American overabundance in grief and sympathy. I appreciated how Torres showed that difficult interactions with the Red Cross, volunteers, and even friends--who were jealous of her "tragedy payments"--contributed to her grief, and made her feel more alone. Particularly in a disaster that affected so many Americans, directly and indirectly. ( )
  allison.sivak | Jun 15, 2010 |
This great graphic autobiography transcends anything you'd expect to do with 9/11. That tragedy has been picked apart and mythologized so much, it is easy to forget that the struggles that those directly affected faced were much less extreme than what most media coverage has focused on (Terrorism! Anti-Americanism! Jihad!) Whew! Run-on!

In showing how the widows of 9/11 faced mundane, tedious struggles (battling with Red Cross and the US Government for compensation, avoiding media exploitation, single motherhood), they are allowed to be human instead of martyrs for us to project meaning onto. American Widow is the most poignant and least cynical first-person account of 9/11 I've seen anywhere. For that matter, it is one of the best memoirs on widowhood I've read. ( )
  gigi86 | May 4, 2010 |
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Ultimately, it’s a frustrating book. It’s a thought-provoking story of survival, with unusual perspectives on a powerful event, but the meaning is still so raw, both for Torres and the rest of us. There’s little closure, and many unanswered questions left, but I appreciate Torres and Choi for raising them.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345500695, Hardcover)

"At the heart of "American Widow" is the notion of Sept. 11 as a personal, rather than a national or political, tragedy, which, this achingly tender work reminds us, is exactly what it was." -- LA Times

Want to honor those who passed during 9-11? Turn off the stupid documentary glorifying all of those images we've seen over and over, and read this sincere account of how that fateful day effected one person that represents all of us.” — Aint It Cool News

“[A] raw, occasionally maddening, bracing graphic memoir… Unbearably moving.” — The New York Times Book Review

“Reading it, you feel that Torres could be your friend or neighbor; she makes an epic tragedy intimate.” — Newsday

On September 10, 2001, Eddie Torres started his dream job at Cantor Fitzgerald in the North Tower of the World Trade Center. The next morning, he said goodbye to his 7½-months-pregnant wife, Alissa, and headed out the door.

In an instant, Alissa’s world was thrown into chaos. Forced to deal with unimaginable challenges, Alissa suddenly found herself cast into the role of “9/11 widow,” tossed into a storm of bureaucracy, politics, patriotism, mourning, consolation, and, soon enough, motherhood.

Beautifully and thoughtfully illustrated, American Widow is the affecting account of one woman’s journey through shock, pain, birth, and rebirth in the aftermath of a great tragedy. It is also the story of a young couple’s love affair: how a Colombian immigrant and a strong-minded New Yorker met, fell in love, and struggled to fulfill their dreams. Above all, American Widow is a tribute to the resilience of the human heart and the very personal story of how one woman endured a very public tragedy.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:41:11 -0400)

An autobiographical comic which chronicles the experiences of Alissa Torres after her husband Eddie was killed in the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in 2001, leaving her to face a whirlwind of bureaucracy, politics, mourning, and impending childbirth and single motherhood.… (more)

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