I’ll take “Pretentious and Privileged” for 600, Alex

Well, this was another misstep. A memoir in the form of a graphic novel, Imagine Wanting Only This by Kristen Radtke leaves a lot to be desired. The illustrations were fine, but as with At Home in the World, I wonder if the author is aware of how pretentious and privileged she comes across. This is not the deep look at grief and ruins that I’d hoped for; it’s very surface level with a deeply rooted sense of entitlement, as she flees to Italy to avoid her adult life. As she flees to Iceland to put off moving to Kentucky (gasp) of all places. As she interviews former residents of nowadays ghost towns and doesn’t know how to feel when she comes away without anything good, something she can sink her teeth into and give permanence. These are things only us white people can get away with. Radtke nudges up against some interesting thoughts on ruins and their purpose and implied meaning in our society, in our history, but honestly that isn’t enough to save this for me.

 

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