Date: 2022 July 12 19:55
Posted by Joe
The good folks from publisher Drawn & Quarterly have sent us details about their latest release. Yamada Murasaki's Talk to My Back is pitched as a celebrated masterwork shimmering with vulnerability from one of alt-manga's most important female artists. We're looking forward to reading this one as Drawn & Quarterly always publish interesting manga titles.
The book is out now from all good booksellers. ISBN : 9781770465633
You can also order it from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com
Details as follows:
Talk to My Back
A celebrated masterwork shimmering with vulnerability from one of alt-manga's most important female artists.
"Now that we've woken from the dream, what are we going to do?" Chiharu thinks to herself, rubbing her husband's head affectionately.
Set in an apartment complex on the outskirts of Tokyo, Murasaki Yamada's Talk to My Back (1981-84) explores the fraying of Japan's suburban middle-class dreams through a woman's relationship with her two daughters as they mature and assert their independence, and with her husband, who works late and sees his wife as little more than a domestic servant.
While engaging frankly with the compromises of marriage and motherhood, Yamada remains generous with the characters who fetter her protagonist. When her husband has an affair, Chiharu feels that she, too, has broken the marital contract by straying from the template of the happy housewife. Yamada saves her harshest criticisms for society at large, particularly its false promises of eternal satisfaction within the nuclear family - as fears of having been "thrown away inside that empty vessel called the household" gnaw at Chiharu's soul.
Yamada was the first cartoonist in Japan to use the expressive freedoms of alt-manga to address domesticity and womanhood in a realistic, critical, and sustained way. A watershed work of literary manga, Talk to My Back was serialized in the influential magazine Garo in the early 1980s, and is translated by Eisner-nominated Ryan Holmberg.
As Eisner-nominated translator Ryan Holmberg explains in his accompanying essay, the comics making up Talk to My Back were serialized in the influential magazine Garo from 1981-1984. When few women were creating alternative manga writ large, Yamada had the courage to detail the interior lives of women in her comics, shedding light on the loneliness and entrapment of middle-class Japanese wives.
"These subtle stories of self-worth and domestic frustration [are] a revelation," writes Rachel Cooke for The Guardian. In Talk to My Back, a young woman cares for her three children, a thankless husband, and the odd pet. Treated like little more than a household servant, the protagonist finds solace in moments when everyone else has gone to bed, or in the quiet creation of fabric dolls. Shimmering with vulnerability, Yamada breathes life into her drawings with the slightest touch, rendering eerily thin lines and partial facial characteristics to express feelings of emptiness and longing.
In line with Kuniko Tsurita's critically-acclaimed The Sky is Blue with a Single Cloud, this edition brings to light another unsung female champion of the alt-manga scene, revealing just how much we can learn from women cartoonists in this pioneering era of artistic experimentation
Trim Size: 6.1 x 8.4
Color: Black-and-white illustrations throughout