Thursday, August 24, 2006

Megan Kelso Book Reading Tonight

A great summer readBack in our youth we went to an after-school program called GRASP (we don't remember what it stood for). It was a weekly opportunity for kids to go and sign up for a variety of activities, like a weekly version of summer camp. It was fun and was a chance to meet kids from other schools. Thing is, after bussing back to our home school at the end of the evening, spanning_time's parents had a tendency to forget us. Week after week, Thursday after Thursday, we'd get back to our school and have to wait a half-hour or so until Mom wondered where we were, at which point she'd rush to pick us up, filled with apologies. One week it took hours for her to remember, so we sat outside the school until around ten at night, alone, waiting for a car we weren't sure was ever coming. It never did, and we ended up catching a ride with an English teacher that was working late.

We share that story not to reveal too much about our childhood, but because it's what came to mind after reading Megan Kelso's The Squirrel Mother Stories, a collection of her graphic short stories, recently published by Fantagraphics. Despite a departure near the collection's close into discussion of Alexander Hamilton, stories like the above are Kelso's bread and butter, with vignettes into her life as well as universal stories of dreams deferred. It takes a lot to create a work that operates both personally and universally, but Kelso handily succeeds. We'd highly recommend picking up a copy. You can do so tonight at Ravenna's Third Place Books, where Kelso will be giving a discussion of the work, specifically some of the Seattle-specific pieces.


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