With comics appearing in The New Yorker and other publications, artist Amy Kurzweil shares her debut book Flying Couch: A Graphic Memoir. Flying Couch tells the stories of three unforgettable women. Amy weaves her own coming-of-age as a young Jewish artist into the narrative of her mother, a psychologist, and Bubbe, her grandmother, a World War II survivor who escaped from the Warsaw Ghetto by disguising herself as a gentile. Captivated by Bubbe's story, Amy turns to her sketchbooks, teaching herself to draw as a way to cope with what she discovers. Entwining the voices and histories of these three wise, hilarious, and very different women, Amy creates a portrait not only of what it means to be part of a family, but also of how each generation bears the imprint of the past.
A retelling of the inherited Holocaust narrative now two generations removed, Flying Couch uses Bubbe's real testimony to investigate the legacy of trauma, the magic of family stories, and the meaning of home. With her playful, idiosyncratic sensibility, Amy traces the way our memories and our families shape who we become. The result is this bold illustrated memoir, both an original coming-of-age story and an important entry into the literature of the Holocaust.
Amy will be in conversation with Malena Watrous, the author of If You Follow Me, published by Harper Perennial in 2011, and a young adult novel that she cowrote with Helena Echlin, Sparked, which they are currently funding for publication through Inkshares, and is available for preorder here: www.sparkedbook.com. She helps to run Stanford's Online Writer's Studio, and had the pleasure and privilege of teaching Amy Kurzweil in one of her first fiction writing classes, when Amy was an undergraduate.