Anya Ulinich’s graphic novel, Lena Finkle’s Magic Barrel is part immigrant displacement angst, floating around for that elusive mooring, and part social commentary on the pursuit of a relationship. It is true, darkly funny and catches you with a side shot just when you thought it was a white immigrant’s (yes, colour matters in immigration) nymphomanical diary. Check these quotes out.
on ennui – “But can you really say that your pursuit of happiness, to date, has been anything but a sequence of panicked attempts to stave off the frightening abyss of life’s meaninglessness?”
on relationships – ” ..we had no idea that we were writing the constitution of our relationship. that, in the coming decades we’d become constitutional absolutists..”
on popular artistic tastes – “whats your threshold for emotional discomfort in art? the muppets?”
on judging motherhood – “..am I a good mother as opposed to who? someone whose kid is wearing a happy meal crown because she didn’t have the time to think of a costume?..”
on immigrant doubts – “Am I a shitty third world country? Meager and squalid, jealous of the west, filled with cheap junk, ignorant, loud, obnoxious, repressed and oppressive?”
Imagine Cosmopolitan’s editorial writer with an extremely dark sense of insecurity and supreme articulation.
It is good. Sometimes too good.