August 5, 2015

Review:An Age of License by Lucy Knisley

Title: An Age of License

Author: Lucy Knisley (Author Website)

Published: September 2014

Edition Read: Purchased Book

Level Recommended: Young Adult/New 

Overall: Knisley made you feel you were having a conversation with a close friend instead of reading a travelogue. Honest and humble with her experiences, Knisley did not disappoint.

Series: Personal Travelogue 

Summary: (From Amazon) Acclaimed cartoonist Lucy Knisley ( French MilkRelish) got an opportunity that most only dream of: a travel-expenses-paid trip to Europe/Scandinavia, thanks to a book tour. An Age of License is Knisley’s comics travel memoir recounting her charming (and romantic!) adventures. It’s punctuated by whimsical visual devices (such as a “new experiences” funnel); peppered with the cute cats she meets along the way; and, of course, features her hallmark―drawings and descriptions of food that will make your mouth water. But it’s not all kittens and raclette crepes: Knisley’s experiences are colored by anxieties, introspective self-inquiries, and quotidian revelations―about traveling alone in unfamiliar countries, and about her life and career―that many young adults will relate to. An Age of License―which takes its name from a French saying―is an Eat, Pray, Love for the alternative comics fan. 

Review: I've been familiar with Lucy Knisley's online work for several years. I've been interested in her published work for quite a while, but until picking up Age of License I hadn't read any of her published travelogues. I am also not really an autobiography person. In short I just did not know what to expect when I finally sat down and decided to read her newest travelogue An Age of License.

The graphic novel starts off with Lucy getting ready to jet off to Europe for a book tour and personal trip to France to meet her mother. Lucy is also candid about the fact that she is also recovering from having ended a very serious long-term relationship while wondering what will happen in that area of her life.
Image Credit 

Reading any of Knisley's work brings up the feeling of speaking with a good friend about her travels. The story is personal and intriguing. The drawings are minimalistic and clean with watercolor paintings sporadically illustrating some of the people, sights, and food that Knisley sees along her trip. I found a lot of what Knisley wrote and drew really resonated with trying to find yourself. Lucy Knisley is continuing to find herself all the while chronicling about that time for everyone to see. That takes a lot of courage. I'm intrigued enough to read more of her published works.

Knisley has published Displacement, a travelogue about Knisley learning more about her grandparents and their time in WWII, and will publish two more graphic novels. Something New, all about her wedding and planning it with her husband, and New Kid, a memoir of her time as the new kid in four different high schools in four years.

For now, you can get a taste of Knisley's work in Stop Paying Attention and her blog

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