The Book of Sarah by Sarah Lightman
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There is no “Book of Sarah” in the Bible, so artist Sarah Lightman sets out to make her own. In this quietly subversive graphic autobiography, Lightman follows the urge to find herself in the midst of training to become an artist, observing her faith, navigating family and romantic relationships, and learning to be a mother.
Drawings of a Jewish children’s Bible, a package of crackers, a Lower East Side walk-up, Columbia University, and the outside of St. Paul’s Girls’ School: books and streets, buildings, objects, and portraits of people fill this coming-of-age story set in northwest London and New York City. The Book of Sarah traces the author’s journey from modern Jewish orthodoxy to a feminist Judaism, as she searches between the complex layers of family and family history that she inherited and inhabited. While the act of drawing came easily to Sarah, letting go of past failures, attachments, and expectations did not. These are the focus of her astonishingly beautiful pages, as we bear witness to her making the world her own.
Poignantly narrated and illustrated with charcoal, pencil, watercolor, and oil, this is an intimate story of a self-in-becoming.
Year first published: 2019