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This is How I Disappear (Paperback)
An affecting glimpse into the ways millennials cope with mental health struggles
Clara’s at a breaking point. She’s got writer’s block, her friends ask a lot without giving much, her psychologist is useless, and her demanding publishing job leaves little time for self care. She seeks solace in the community around her, yet, while her friends provide support and comfort, she is often left feeling empty, unable to express an underlying depression that leaves her immobilized and stifles any attempts at completing her poetry collection. In This Is How I Disappear, Mirion Malle paints an empathetic portrait of a young woman wrestling with psychological stress and the trauma following a sexual assault.
Malle displays frankness and a remarkable emotional intelligence as she explores depression, isolation, and self-harm in her expertly drawn novel. Her heroine battles an onslaught of painful emotions and while Clara can provide consolation to those around her, she finds it difficult to bestow the same understanding on herself. Only when she allows her community to guide her toward self-love does she find relief.
Filled with 21st century idioms and social media communication, This Is How I Disappear opens a window onto the lives of young people as they face a barrage of mental health hurdles. Scenes of sisterhood, fun nights out singing karaoke, and impromptu FaceTime therapy sessions show how this generation is coping, connecting, and healing together.
About the Author
Mirion Malle is a French cartoonist and illustrator who lives in Montreal. She studied comics at the École Superieure des Arts Saint-Luc in Brussels before pursuing a Masters degree in sociology specializing in gender and feminist studies, via Paris Diderot and the Université du Québec à Montréal. Malle has published three books. The League of Super Feminists was her first book to be translated into English and was nominated for the 2020 Prix Jeunesse at the Angoulême International Comics Festival.
"With a true-to-life mixture of levity and seriousness, we witness... Clara’s dissatisfaction with—and ultimate withdrawal from—social life. Malle ingeniously presents digital screens as comics frames, and vice versa; she links how we access our digital lives with how we read comics, and makes this significant aspect of Clara’s world—something potentially dull to depict—dramatic."—Hillary Chute, The New York Times
"I want to give this book to all the people I love! Malle's unique sensitivity and amazing poetic drawings are like a bandaid and a treat at the same time. This is How I Disappear is my favourite comic of the year."
—Penelope Bagieu, Brazen
"A stunning portrayal. Mirion Malle gives us just enough to keep going—just enough to root for Clara as we stumble with her through anxiety, depression, and a culture of shame. The journey is well worth it."
—Sophie Yanow, The Contradictions
"Mirion Malle’s characters come through so vibrantly on the page. I wish they could be my friends, too! Especially Clara, the heroine of the story. This is How I Disappear looks at mental health and how it impacts daily life. With strikingly accurate detail and a subtly political lens, the book examines issues like the obstacles to obtaining psychological support and the lasting impacts of abuse, without ever being didactic. Mirion Malle is a wonderful storyteller."
—Julie Delporte, This Woman's Work
"This low-key look at life in recovery has a disarming simplicity and bracing sincerity."—Publishers Weekly
"[Malle's] minimalist black and white images compellingly portray the weight of her character’s agony and allows the reader to experience her pain. Through Clara, Malle creates a moving portrait of a young woman trying to heal from sexual trauma. Even in the depths of inner turmoil, Clara shows how there can be light in darkness through the love and support of her friends."—BUST
"The black-and-white, hand-drawn style suits the story perfectly and quietly enhances Clara's darker moments. It is a heartbreakingly familiar story."—Booklist, Starred Review
"Malle’s work exudes compassion and gives us hope for moving through the darkness."—Maisonneuve
"Malle frankly and sensitively explores mental health through a young woman dealing with a sexual assault. [She] shines a light on coping mechanisms, community and self-love."—Ms. Magazine
"I related so deeply to Clara’s difficulties talking to her friends about what she was going through, but ultimately pulling away from them because she felt like she was bumming them out... The pages of Clara sitting in bed, researching how to deal, are particularly evocative."—Book Riot
"Malle's raw, stylized b&w line drawings incisively capture the breaking-point vulnerability of a young woman suffering depression resulting from sexual violence."—Shelf Awareness
"Superb."—The Toronto Star
"Quebec comic creators are producing some amazing work these days."—London Free Press
"Malle articulates a deep and moving study of depression and trauma."—Quill & Quire